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"The Family Graves" Trade Paperback Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Source Point Press


Written by Timothy Bach
Illustrated by Brian Atkins
Colored by Dijjo Lima, Brandon Daniels, and Ander Zarate
Lettered by Marco Della Verde
2019, 114 Pages
Trade paperback released on November 6th, 2019


What if the Munsters were adventurers? That's one way to describe The Family Graves. It follows a family of monsters as they juggle the day-to-day trials and tribulations of normal life and out of this world adventures. Sure, they have some unique problems, like when Phil, the dad, wolves out and can't control himself, but their love for one another will see them through. Along the way, Phil's estranged vampire father returns with a complicated plan to achieve immortality through the use of magic mirrors that peer into alien worlds.

There are some really fun elements at work in The Family Graves, but they don't entirely come together into a cohesive narrative. The story will jump around a bit without connecting the dots in a satisfactory fashion. Things will happen more out of convenience than to move the story along. I wonder how this would have flowed if there was a little more room to tell the story or if things were a bit more focused on the key points.

Click images to enlarge

The family dynamic is spot on, especially between the siblings. Writer Timothy Bach plays with this quite a bit, often to humorous ends as the Graves clan finds themselves in some pretty crazy situations. Do they have time to argue while they're fighting a giant dinosaur? Probably not, but that's not going to stop them.

Artist Brian Atkins gets in on this too, particularly with Nori, the teenage siren. She has the best facial expressions that are rather fitting for someone of her age and attitude. This contrasts well with Lum, the earnest fish boy younger brother who can't get enough of the adventuring side of the family.

The family members / monsters are differentiated not just by their appearance, but by Marco Della Verde's letters. For example, Lum can communicate telepathically, so his speech appears in these floating green word balloons. We see similar effects placed on other characters' dialogue and it works great.

Click images to enlarge

The magic mirrors cast an ominous tone on the series. Whenever one shows up, you take notice. Colorists Dijjo Lima, Brandon Daniels, and Ander Zarate paint these items with respect and reverence. You know that these are not to be trifled with, yet Phil is about to dive right into them like they're a ball pit at a playground. The mood of The Family Graves shifts seamlessly between horror, comedy, and family drama. The colorists control these moves as we transition from scene-to-scene.

The world of The Family Graves is vast. It's clear we're just scraping the surface with these four issues. There's a ton of potential for this series so I'm eager to see what else could be included. We've seen a handful of monsters already and there are so many more out there.


Story: threestars Cover
Tfaw Buy Button
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3 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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