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"Lonely Receiver #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AfterShock Comics


Written by Zac Thompson
Illustrated by Jen Hickman
Lettered by Simon Bowland
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 4th, 2020


Catrin was reeling from her breakup with Rhion...until she met Hazel. Now she's infatuated and more than a little obsessed. Is she in love with Hazel? Or the fact that she reminds her of Rhion? Catrin tries to connect the dots, determined to not only prove these two people are one in the same, but that she can have her old life back after all.

I've been struggling with Lonely Receiver for a little while. I wasn't sure what to make of this unsettling future world where people can create an artificial intelligence love. That changed with this issue. Everything clicked. Moreover, this is one of the most disturbing comics I've read in some time.

Writer Zac Thompson gets right to the root of heartbreak. Just about everyone has gone through this feeling and with time, we get over it. The difference with Catrin is how she just can't. The love she had was made just for her...and it rejected her. That cuts deep. That is absolutely brutal. That can cause you to do some crazy things.

Click images to enlarge

Catrin isn't thinking right and it shows. What comes through in Lonely Receiver #3 is how desperate and suffocating Catrin has become. She's broken and she's clawing at anything that might resemble her old life. That is so very dangerous and this chapter is when things really get scary.

The kicker though is that it doesn't have to be that way. If she accepted Hazel as the wholy separate person she is, everything would be ok. They could have a great life together...but it's not the life Catrin really wants. Letterer Simon Bowland works wonders with these thoughts, showing them in pink caption boxes. Catrin keeps trying to justify her increasingly bizarre and crazy actions, but to no avail.

There are some interesting moments in Lonely Receiver #3 where Catrin appears to have two sets of eyes. This comes during some rather intense scenes and I'm sure it's intentional, although I don't really understand why. Does this represent Catrin's dual vision as she struggles to connect reality with fantasy?

Click images to enlarge

Artist Jen Hickman reinforces and amplifies all of the raw feelings at play in this issue. When Catrin is falling for Hazel, you feel it. You are right there with them during their initial encounter, their obsessive thoughts, and more. It engulfs you...then it turns dark.

The color shifts with this mood. At first there are these bursts of bright shades, like explosions of rainbows. This lines up with the intensity of the early stages of romance, where everything is like an exposed nerve of feeling. When reality sets in, the palette shifts to a more traditional, albeit still a little sci-fi tone.

Lonely Receiver is a chilling read that shows how you can have horror in romance. It explores the intense feelings of love and how quickly they can turn to terror.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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