Monsters are like natural disasters in this new original series from Image Comics.
It might be Halloween today and this comic comes out tomorrow on November 1st but dammit this is one of the coolest horror comics I’ve read all year. Wes Craig and Toby Cypress are combining forces to give us a world where monsters are an ordinary occurrence like a natural disaster and there’s only one union that keeps us abreast of their violence.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
DEADLY CLASS co-creator WES CRAIG launches a new series with art by rising star TOBY CYPRESS (Omega Men)! The supernatural world has gone crazy! The apocalypse is coming, and only the Gravediggers Union can stop it! How? Well, first their leader Cole has to find his estranged daughter. But is she the one behind the apocalypse? Wild comedic horror with steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms, and space monkeys! OVERSIZED FIRST ISSUE!
Why does this matter?
Running extra-sized at 30 pages (we didn’t count the back matter or front matter) this first issue aims to give you a taste of a world filled with monsters. It also sets up a narrative with the main character that will surely turn a common worker into something much more.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
One of the coolest pages you’ll see all year.
I was enamored with the art in this book which opens with Craig drawing the first 5 pages in a crazy flashback and Cypress taking the reigns for the rest of the issue. Craig’s style is wicked when it comes to color and details and it’s incredibly horrifying. He’s created some kind of multi-eyeball creature not unlike Cthulhu. Cypress draws in a dreamlike sort of way with color by Niko Guardia that uses a lens flair sort of highlight over specific bits of a panel. It’s an interesting way to liven up the action, but also add a layer to the already interesting art. Craig’s lines are a tad rough and give the monsters a unhinged sort of vibe. There’s also an awesome zombie-golem beast that’s fun as heck to look at.
The story itself is compelling and will draw you in from the very first page. Craig is showing us an interesting world where monsters may have lived among us from the dawn of time, but now they’re locked in a constant battle with humanity. Vampires, zombies, and other creatures attack humans regularly, which is why the Gravediggers Union exists at all. As we meet the protagonist and learn about the daily lifestyle a new McGuffin enters the fray which may just change everything. It’s one of those comics where you’ll have theories and ideas of where things are going, but there isn’t quite enough information to confirm anything. There’s also a social message that’s interesting involving the lack of aid to countries outside of America who also have monster problems. Yet again we see distance makes us feel disconnected, but our technology isn’t helping either.
I love the mood of this scene.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are a few portions that drag in this first issue with two separate arguments going about as you’d expect in a predictable way. The first 17 pages come at you like a bat out of hell with a fast pace, lot’s of new information, and good character beats, but from then on it slows to a crawl and ends up slowing the plot progression too. Seeing as it’s extra-sized it’s not that big of a deal, but it does decrease the excellent opening.
Is It Good?
I absolutely love the premise of this comic. It opens new doors to how to tell a monster story but has a cool twist added on top of that. Gravediggers Union is a monster-lover must read.