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"The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios / Archaia

Man Who Came Down Attic Stairs Large

Written and illustrated by Celine Loup
2019, 51 Pages
Graphic novel released on September 18th, 2019

Review:

Caring for a new baby is hard. Their only way of communicating is by screaming their heads off, but they can't tell you what they want or need, so it's a guessing game to try to get them to stop. Emma is in such a position with a super cranky baby that won't stop crying. Nothing she tries works. There might be something more going on in her new home though. What if it's not hunger or gas making her baby cry? What if there's a dark evil lurking within her house?

The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs has a constant unsettling vibe. Writer/artist Celine Loup creates an eerie feeling, where you know that something is not right. You're just waiting for the true terror to reveal itself. You get hints along the way as Emma and her baby look to be in imminent danger.

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This book really drives home the feeling of helplessness that all new parents go through. I remember pacing around my house with a screaming infant at 2 AM begging and pleading with him to stop crying. Loup has the baby's cries take over the page. They surround and engulf Emma, so they completely takes over her world. It's claustrophobic and suffocating. It's also exactly what that experience feels like.

Loup expertly pulls together the horror elements of The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs. Sometimes you're looking over your shoulder at what might be coming after reading an uneasy passage. Other times you are forced to stare into the abyss and what might be lurking within out of sheer terror. A great example of this is when Emma's husband...well...comes down the attic stairs. Something has changed in him and it's more than a little shocking.

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There's a great twist towards the end of this graphic novel that really reframes the entire story. I'm a big fan of the twist and what it could mean, however this doesn't quite come together by the end. Too much is left up to interpretation, so there's not a satisfactory ending. There's definitely a place for that with some aspects of the story, but in this case too many questions are left unanswered. This is unfortunate, as I was enthralled with the entire book only to be let down by the ending.

The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs is a tense read that will hit any parent hard. It plays with the very real fears that all new parents go through and amplifies them a thousand fold by adding a supernatural twist. It brings back those terrifying moments of trying to figure out what to do with a newborn.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Man Who Came Down Attic Stairs Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

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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