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Proctor Valley Road 3 Large

"Proctor Valley Road #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

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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 May 12th, 2021

Review:

As the only suspects in the disappearance of a few local kids, August, Rylee, Cora, and Jennie have all eyes on them. They want those folks found just as much as everyone else, but no one will believe them when they talk about all the creepy stuff that goes on down on Proctor Valley Road. It looks like they'll have to take matters into their own hands, even if that means facing off against a demonic ghost bull and all kinds of horrors out there in the desert.

We're only three issues into Proctor Valley Road and I am continually impressed by how writers Alex Child and Grant Morrison are able to add so much to each character with little excerpts from their lives. In between all the terror and research into local folklore, there are these quick personal moments that reveal so much about each of these girls. For example, this issue features a heartbreaking scene with August and her mother. The former is holding onto hope that her father may return some day while the latter has accepted that he left them and is moving on. It speaks to August's mental state as she heads out to the road once again.

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As much as I love those little scenes, the highlights of Proctor Valley Road #3 come from the creepy action. The aforementioned demonic ghost bull is just the tip of the iceberg. We're already on edge when the girls head out into the desert. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain paints an eerie landscape here with muted colors for the sand and rocks in the night. This is quickly interrupted by the horrors lurking within these shadows, bursting onto the page with bright yellows, reds and oranges.

Artist Naomi Franquiz turns this up to eleven with some horrifying images. One of my favorites is a small one where a guy shows up outside the girls' car. His eyes are shown shut and he's holding his own intestines in his hands. It's so very unsettling. The monsters out here are a nice contrast to the scrappy nature of the girls. At first glance, it looks like these kids are going to be eaten alive, but they have just enough attitude and determination that you think they'll have a shot. Plus, we're invested in their lives thanks to all the great character development, so we're cheering them on.

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The sound effect work in Proctor Valley Road #3 is off the charts. Much of it is incorporated into the artwork itself, such as a big explosion towards the end of the issue where the boom is spelled out in the smoke or the smashing of the car with pieces of shattered glass forming the sound in the air. Letterer Jim Campbell brings some great context to the dialogue, particularly when things get more harrowing for the girls. You fully understand the screams of terror they're letting out.

Proctor Valley Road is horror with heart. We are with these characters every step of the way as the creative team has spent the time to develop them. It makes the scares resonate a lot more as we genuinely care about them and want to see them not only survive, but succeed. Here's hoping they get out of this intact.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fourandahalfstars
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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