"The Chair" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson


Published by Alterna Comics




Written by Peter Simeti
Illustrated by Kevin Christensen and Peter Simeti
2008, 136 Pages
Graphic novel released on October 15th, 2008


I've seen enough prison dramas to be certain that I wouldn't last five minutes behind bars. I'd be eaten alive. Then again, I am a prize catch, so the inmates might fight over me. I digress. Peter Simeti has provided another look at prison life with The Chair. The comic centers on death row inmate Richard Sullivan, who has spent the past ten years in jail for a crime he allegedly didn't commit. Now his time is running out, but all is not what it seems in this correctional facility.

The Chair begins as a run-of-the-mill torture porn. Sullivan is faced with hideous living conditions that would definitely fall into the "cruel and unusual punishment" category. These include but are not limited to frequent beatings and guards urinating in his food. As his execution looms, he's seeing some of his fellow inmates get picked off one by one, brought before a sadistic madman named Enrik. It seems like the book is going to be a total gorefest when Enrik finally gets his hands on Sullivan.

Click images to enlarge

That's not the case though. Simeti pulls you in to this story to the point where you're indignant about Sullivan's treatment in this prison. You're ready to write to the governor about these inhumane conditions. Then he turns the tables on you and changes everything. The twist hits you like a punch in the gut and sheds new light on all of the events up until that point.

Artist Kevin Christensen adds to the rough tone of The Chair. His artwork feels raw and brutal, matching the harsh setting. The comic is presented in black and white, using the shadow well to emphasize the darkness surrounding Sullivan. It works to make the book appear as if you're in the midst of a terrible nightmare.

Click images to enlarge

The Chair may start as a generic horror story, but it quickly turns into much more. Simeti has crafted a book that makes you question everything within it. It's the kind of comic that you'll finish and want to immediately re-read to look at each panel with a new set of eyes.


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

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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.
Other articles by this writer



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