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Scarenthood 1 Main

"Scarenthood #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing


Written and illustrated by Nick Roche
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
Lettered by Shawn Lee
2020, 36 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on November 11th, 2020


When you become a parent, you get a whole new set of fears. I've heard parenthood described as having a vital organ removed and placed somewhere you have limited control over. You can and will do anything to protect your child. Scarenthood pulls those deep fears right up to the surface.

The comic, written and illustrated by Nick Roche, centers on the day care at Rathdaggan Memorial Hall, an otherwise normal-looking building, albeit with a deep secret. It turns out a kid disappeared there years ago, although no one really talks about it much. That is, except for the local whackjob...who happens to have a kid at this day care now.

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Cormac is the newcomer to this group and he's skeptical of all this local mystery. He's wrapped up in his own life and work, not to mention caring for his daughter, especially after his wife...well, we don't know what happened to her or where she is, but she's not currently in the picture. Roche does a great job alluding to this and the emptiness Cormac feels without revealing this outright.

One of the biggest scares in Scarenthood comes not with gore or demons or anything like that. It comes with time. Cormac goes in to investigate something and he feels like he's been gone for a few minutes. In reality, hours have passed. Think about that for a minute. No one knows where you are. Your daughter, who is your sole responsibility, is alone. So many things could happen and all of the worst ones are what come to mind first in a situation like that.

This is just part of where Scarenthood hits. The actual mystery, which is also hinted at although not directly revealed, is the other half, making for an impressive one-two punch of a horror story. There's a part where this book makes the shift into terror. Colorist Chris O'Halloran controls this like flipping a switch. We move from the bright yet soft tones of the day care center, to the darker, shadowy shades of something evil.

Click images to enlarge

Things get crazy fast, jumping from one scare to the next at a breakneck pace. Letterer Shawn Lee gets in on this action with some monstrous growls that come later on, not to mention the fear-filled screams that follow.

Scarenthood works on several levels, but what makes it really stand out is how real the scares are. It hits on genuine fears that every parent has had and then adds a supernatural mystery to the mix to turn it right up to eleven. It's a visceral horror that cuts deep. Do not miss this comic.


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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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