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Thistlebone Volume 1 Main

"Thistlebone" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by 2000 AD

article-cover

Written by TC Eglington
Illustrated by Simon Davis
Lettered by Annie Parkhouse
2021, 64 Pages
Graphic novel released on April 27th, 2021

Review:

Avril Eason escaped from the cult that would have killed her, but she hasn't gotten away from the trauma it left. With the cult members and their leader, Jason Hillman, in prison, Avril is still looking for closure. She may find it with a writer doing a story about this whole event, bringing Avril back to the site and unearthing some bizarre things that force her to question reality once more.

Scary things can happen in small towns. That's just as true in the United States as it is in England, where Thistlebone is set. In fact, it's probably even more true on that side of the pond, as those roots go a bit deeper. Thistlebone explores some folk-horror in a way that really creeps up on you.

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Artist Simon Davis weaves in the scares subtly at first, almost luring you into a false sense of security. Maybe this won't be that bad, as we meet some of the quirky townsfolk, including an amateur taxidermist. There are some great shots that provide an ominous tone, such as an interview with the aforementioned taxidermist with the shadows of his creations looming behind him like some kind of demonic entity.

All this subtlety gives way to pure, unbridled terror. It's like a big chunk of Thistlebone was the first climb of a roller coaster and then you're barreling down drops and loops at a mile a minute, screaming your head off for the rest of the ride. This can be a little dry at times, but it comes together by the end.

Much of this is attributable to the uncertainty of what is real and what might be in Avril's head. There's no doubt that she's been through a lot. Revisiting this place has brought up some bad memories and some of them may be manifesting in our world.

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Writer TC Eglington builds to a frightening and blood-soaked crescendo, lit by fire and terror. The one downside is that this book ends right when it really gets going. There's a second volume promised for later this year. Given the short length of this book, I wonder why they weren't merged into one larger book to have a more complete reading experience.

Thistlebone is another in a growing list of comics showing why we should all stay inside. I didn't need a pandemic to tell me that. I have comics like Thistlebone to show me that no good things come from going out in the woods.

Grades:

Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 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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