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Proctor Valley Road 2 Main

"Proctor Valley Road #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

article-cover

Written by Alex Child & Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Naomi Franquiz
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 14th, 2021

Review:

After a “Spook Tour” down the most haunted road in America led to the disappearance of some classmates, all eyes are on August, Rylee, Cora, and Jennie. They don't have any answers as to what happened to the others, but they're ready to find out even if that means coming face-to-face with the demons on Proctor Valley Road.

The characters are the real standout in Proctor Valley Road. Writers Alex Child and Grant Morrison provide fleshed out, real people that are instantly relatable. I love the dynamic between them as they try and put the pieces of this puzzle together. They've seen some crazy shit here and it's affecting them all differently, although there is a shared marking that comes into play.

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More importantly, these are kids. They are figuring this out based on their experience levels of their age. They are on that border between childhood and adulthood, so they still have that sense of wonder that anything can happen. This issue has a few scenes reminding us of that, such as Rylee performing an imaginary wedding with a mannequin or Jennie pretending to be a space adventurer. This innocence makes the events of the closing pages of this chapter all the more frightening.

Colorist Tamra Bonvillain seamlessly moves from the brightly colored normal lives of these four to the ominous shadows of the evening and the threats lurking within. With just a few page turns, you're suddenly on edge as strange things start popping up on this haunted stretch of highway. These sequences are lit from an array of fireworks set nearby, casting a kind of campfire light on them that perfectly sets the tone.

Letterer Jim Campbell captures the wide-eyed excitement from the characters as they're all speaking very rapidly. There are times when there are a lot of balloons on the page, but the conversation flows so well that it never feels overwhelming. Campbell uses a blurring effect for a specific shot that really heightens the tension, showing how a supernatural attack is affecting one of the characters.

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That brings me to the creepiest part of Proctor Valley Road #2, when someone is scratched by a strange hyena-like creature...and maggots climb out of the wound. Excuse me while I throw up for a second. So gross. Artist Naomi Franquiz strikes this perfect balance between blood-curdling horror and all-ages design. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for kids, however I think it's okay for young adults as it's also a coming-of-age story. As with the character development, Franquiz's style helps get us invested in this book so that when the scary stuff pops up, it hits with more impact.

Proctor Valley Road is just getting started and it's already filled with scares, solid characters, and dynamite artwork. The mystery is still unfolding, but it's clear there are some deadly and terrifying things lurking down this haunted street. Proctor Valley Road hits with the same feeling as driving down a lonely highway in the middle of the night and feeling a shiver run up your spine.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 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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