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"Wretched Things" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Source Point Press

Wretched Things 00

Written and lettered by Devon Wong
Illustrated by Ken Perry
Colored by John Hunt
2018, 108 Pages
Graphic novel released on May 16th, 2018

Review:

There's a world just beneath our own. It' one where the vermin lurk. Spiders, centipedes, mice, and rats are all part of a community and power struggle beneath our feet. This is where Bran, a noble albeit small mouse, finds himself. He's swept up by a spider named Impatience as part of the cause to teach humans a lesson once and for all. What follows is a harrowing journey as Bran's paws get bloodier with each passing day, leading to the ultimate attack against mankind.

Wretched Things is an anthropomorphic story, but it's far from something like An American Tail. This world underneath our floorboards and within our walls is a dark and chilling one. Bran has been living in relative peace all his life, but he's suddenly thrown into the darkness where he learns the truth about how things work. His innocence is quickly stripped away as he's forced to kill to survive.

Wretched Things 01Wretched Things 02
Click images to enlarge

Writer Devin Wong presents the story in such a way as to make these small creatures look like epic adventurers. Artist Ken Perry draws everything to scale, so to a mouse like Bran, a cat is like a giant. This makes everyday objects appear like menacing death machines. The cat is a particularly frightening creature, especially when we first see it with a mouse's guts hanging from its mouth. You'll think twice before petting that kitty again.

As scary as the cat is, there's a large centipede that steals the show halfway through Wretched Things. It towers over Bran and Impatience like Godzilla to Tokyo. If this is what these things look like up close, I'm just going to stomp through the woods to destroy every one I see. It's like a cross between the monsters from Tremors and Metroid.

Bran is drawn with some human qualities, which makes sense as he's the main character. We're supposed to relate to him more. These qualities don't extend out to the bugs he encounters throughout his journey. They look like normal, emotionless creatures.

Wretched Things 03
Click image to enlarge

Colorist John Hunt sets the tone of Wretched Things. It's one of darkness and desperation. Impatience's cause is rather silly in the scheme of things. How can a few bugs hope to take down humanity? They don't find a shining beacon of hope to keep them going. Instead, they lurk within the shadows, waiting for their time to strike. This makes for a moody atmosphere, which I will remind you, takes place under the stairs and in the crevices of a person's house.

The end result of Bran's path is pretty gruesome. It definitely was not what I was expecting. If you had any doubts this was a horror comic, those are put to rest with the final bloody chapter. Wretched Things is like The Secret of NIMH or Watership Down, showing the life-and-death struggle of small creatures in the grandest way possible. In this case, that struggle is against humanity and these animals are not afraid to get their hands, feet, and paws dirty. Also, it should go without saying, but this comic is definitely not for kids.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Wretched Things Cover
Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

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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