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"Twilight Hotel #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Square Biz Comics

Twilight Hotel 1 00

Written by Ra X
Illustrated by Michael Aryn
2017, 32 Pages

Review:

Usually when planning a trip, you look up a hotel on Yelp to get an idea of what it's like before booking.  That might have saved several lives for people considering a stay at the Twilight Hotel.  Built over a notorious plantation where thousands of African slaves and Seminole Indians were murdered, the place is more than a little haunted.  A mysterious and evil entity known only as “She” lurks within, luring unwitting guests who check in but do not check out.  

As this is the first issue of Twilight Hotel, it serves as an origin story for the building itself.  Our narrator is the maintenance supervisor, Virgil Lee Petty, who gets a little...ahead of himself.  This is an odd choice because the cover features the comic's mascot, Benny Bellhop, who is more reminiscent of the classic anthology narrators like the Crypt Keeper or Uncle Creepy.  In any case, Virgil rattles on about his time at the hotel as well as how the place came to be in the first place.  This comes off as a bit exposition heavy, as he's essentially dropping a history lesson on you.

Twilight Hotel 1 01Twilight Hotel 1 02
Click images to enlarge

The visuals more than make up for this.  Michael Aryn's artwork is realistic, intense, and dripping with blood.  The story lulls you into this false sense of security with the opening pages, showing Virgil going about mundane tasks as he talks about how long he's worked at the Twilight Hotel.  Then it takes a shocking turn, going in a completely unexpected direction.  

Then there's the blood.  There is just so much of it.  It really stands out on the page, especially against the clean white tile of this particular room.  You really get a sense of the viscous quality to it.  It's thick and most definitely going to stain the floor.  
Twilight Hotel 1 03
Click image to enlarge

The flashback scenes to the Twilight Hotel's past are shown in black-and-white, appearing like aged photographs.  It's clear that this place has always been one full of death, dating back to its very creation.  There's an incredible image towards the end of the issue just when the hotel opens that shows you a small fraction of the amount of lives this place has taken.  Blood seeps into the soil, which is filled with bodies dating back years.  Since this is a flashback, the red blood pops off the page as the only real color there.  

Twilight Hotel has some major potential.  This opening issue fills us in on the hotel and why it's so haunted, whereas future issues promise to deliver some individual tales taking place during its fabled history.  I would have preferred to jump right into the anthology-style tales.  Since we basically get an info dump, this chapter feels more like a prologue than anything.  This background could have been weaved into the other stories.  The initial shock of the opening wears off quickly, so we're left with a lot of information to sift through.

Square Biz Comics is currently utilizing Kickstarter to fund the release of the first graphic novel for Twilight Hotel.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Twilight Hotel 1 Cover
Art: Threeandahalfstars
Overall: Threestars

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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