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"Road Trip To Hell #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Road Trip To Hell 1 00

Written by Nicole D'Andria
Illustrated by Marco Maccagni
Colored by Joaquin Pereyra
Lettered by Justin Birch
2018, 24 Pages

Review:

Francis had a lot working against him already. His sister is going through chemotherapy. He has a strange ability to see only the bad things in a person's future, which has made him the most doom and gloom psychic on the strip. He's been plagued by horrible nightmares. To make matters worse, he just found out his biological father is Satan. That must have been a crazy email to get from Ancestry.com.

Road Trip to Hell starts off by taking stock of Francis' dreary life. He has a decent attitude despite the negative aspects of his world. He's down on his luck, but he's making it work. It isn't until he comes home one day to see the horned demon Baphomet sitting in his living room with a proclamation that things get really weird.

Writer Nicole D'Andria creates those opening pages to establish Francis, his sister, and the overall landscape before turning them completely upside down. We quickly become invested in Francis and see that he doesn't necessarily deserve the hand he's been dealt. This makes his shocking situation and his personal relationship to Satan all the more harrowing. We can see ourselves in Francis, so the mind races with possibilities and how we might react if the same thing were to happen to us.

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Click images to enlarge

Much of this comes through in Marco Maccagni's artwork. He's always had a very expressive style in some of his other work. Road Trip to Hell has him a bit more subdued but still somewhat comical, especially when Francis finds out about his true lineage. The kid's eyes practically pop out of his skull like a cartoon.

The design for Baphomet is a perfect example of the tone set in Road Trip to Hell. He's a literal demon, more of the hoofed variety than the pitchfork kind, but he's just chilling in a bathrobe like he's ready to kick back and watch the game with some buds. There's a suave, casual quality to him, like he'd be the cool demon that would sneak in some Doritos every so often to mix things up from your eternal damnation.

His voice looks rather menacing in rough-shaped word balloons. You can tell he's evil by nature because the balloons are black with white letters. Justin Birch creates these to round out the character and make him stand out a bit more than the regular humans.

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Click images to enlarge

One aspect I'm interested in learning more about is Francis' physic powers. We see him use them a couple of times early on in this issue. They manifest as these bright images, like he's hit with a lightning bolt from the future. Colorist Joaquin Pereyra makes these pop off the page like crackling electricity. I'm curious how this ability may aid him in his new status quo.

Road Trip to Hell is an impressive debut that reminds me a bit of the tragically short-lived TV show, Reaper. It has that same vein of dark humor and deals with just as much of the supernatural. This book sets itself out, pulling from a number of fun aspects of the Bible and history. Plus, it has perhaps the greatest and most evil villain of all time. If you thought Satan was bad, just wait until you see who pops up at the end of this issue.

Writer Nicole D'Andria is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of Road Trip to Hell #1.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Road Trip To Hell 1 Cover
Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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