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2017 04 28 The House 1

"The House #1 & #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Click images to enlarge
Written by Phillip Sevy
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
Colored by Jen Hickman
2017, 39 Pages / 20 Pages


Deep in the woods of Luxembourg during World War II, a group of American soldiers stumble upon a beautiful mansion.  This seems great at first as they were looking for shelter from a horrid snow storm.  As the squad starts to search through the house, they find that all is not what it seems.  The place holds some terrifying secrets and it's clear that not all of them will make it out of here alive.  

What struck me immediately upon reading The House was how perfectly the creative team established that this building is bad news and how long it has been there.  Writer Phillip Sevy and artist Drew Zucker do this in opening pages devoid of any dialogue or internal narration.  Instead, we get an excerpt from a journal that runs as two men flee for their lives, seeking refuge in a cabin in the woods.  Once inside, things get crazy fast.  You don't know who these people are or what their history is and you don't need to.  This isn't their story.  It's the house's story.  

Click images to enlarge

Immediately following this is a two-page sequence that connects the dots between the past and present, showing how the house has grown and changed over time.  This too is presented with no dialogue or narration.  It's completely unneeded.  Zucker's artwork speaks volumes, showing that this place has always been there and perhaps always will be, evolving over time to keep up with the latest advancements in architecture.  

After these incredible establishing scenes, The House takes some time getting the soldiers into the dwelling.  Sevy makes a noble effort introducing them all, going so far as to showcase each of their names and ranks.  In the scheme of things, none of them are all that different.  They're all basically grunts.  It doesn't help matters that they all look alike.  Of course, they're wearing the same uniforms and carrying the same weaponry.  One guy has a hat.  Another has glasses.  They're all white.  

While the characters all look very similar, Zucker captures their expressions of fear perfectly.  Their pupils shrink to tiny dots.  They're struggling to come to grips with their surroundings and make sense of any of it, but to no avail.  Instead they're faced with things that just should not be and they can't wrap their minds around them.   

Click images to enlarge

Although there isn't much here in the way of character development, the story and setting more than make up for it.  You can feel the terror build up as the soldiers search through the house.  It's amazing how subtle things like a hallway that's a bit too long can be so unsettling.  Your mind struggles to comprehend something that just should not be there.  There's a scene towards the end of issue two that chills right to the bone.  Any hope of escape is destroyed in an instant.  It reminds me a bit of a scene in Grave Encounters (which I really dug), with a similar feeling.  

The House has a chilling premise that grabs hold of you from the jump.  Everyone can relate to a creepy house.  Maybe it's one you avoid down the block or an abandoned building around the corner.  Now imagine being trapped in there with no way out.  Everywhere you turn is just more hallways, stairs, and doors, none of them leading to the outside world.  Did you hear that?  Something's coming for you.


Story: fourstars Cover
Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

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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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