February may not be a month we expect good horror, but thanks to Gabriel Hardman, who spoke to us about this one-shot and its creation, maybe we should be more open-minded. The Belfry: Is it good?
The Belfry (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
When an airliner crashes in a remote jungle, everyone walks away unscathed only to find you can’t escape the lush, brutal world of the Belfry. From Logan storyboard artist and Hugo Award-nominated writer/artist GABRIEL HARDMAN (INVISIBLE REPUBLIC, KINSKI, Star Wars Legacy), THE BELFRY is a self-contained one-shot that may just strip you of your humanity.
Why does this book matter?
As a one-shot you know there are no back issues to read or requirements to jump in. Horror one-shots don’t come around every day either, and given Hardman’s visual expertise we’re in good hands for a fun ride.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The layouts disorientate in interesting ways.
Afraid of flying? Don’t read this book, or do because you love getting scared. Hardman writes and draws a strong comic here as it opens with chaos and only gets more weird and scary from there. A plane comes crashing down, and its pilot assesses the damage. There may be survivors, but a giant bat humanoid is very keen on making them lunch. The story evolves from there, reveals a culture, and generally has King Kong-like vibes as the cast attempts to survive in an unknown jungle environment. By the end it all comes around and you’ll be hard pressed to not want more from this world.
Hardman draws like no other–his style behooves a horror title–with a great use of sound effects and disorientating layouts. This helps convey the shock one would have in a plane crash, but also what is to come for the people who survived. In some ways the visuals are like a study on shock which is a reoccurring theme.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The Belfry is a fast read though it ends in a way to make you want to read it again.
The pinup that inspired this story.
Is It Good?
This is a great horror comic that’s all about shock as it develops a frightening vampire world you’ll want more of. Much like those who fear flying, the story is all about losing control in the most haunting of ways.