Review: London Horror Comic #4 / Written by: John-Paul Kamath / Illustrated by: Lee Ferguson, Dean Kotz / Published by: Self Published / Release Date: Out Now
A high-quality, plush-looking horror anthology from an independent team is a rare thing. With gloss cover, full colour and 40 pages, London Horror Comic is one of those titles that will either get snapped up by a publisher or serve as a springboard for its creators.
The fourth issue, which came out in February, has five short stories, each a love letter to a different form of genre.
The Passenger is a true British story about a trip on the Tube where the ill-fated passengers’ steps to avoid danger put him directly into the path of something else. V is the exception here, a very funny take on the eternal battle between a superhero archetype and his overly clever nemesis, set in a coffee shop. Tough All Over is another British tale with no supernatural or violent horror element, just a simple but honest vision of life in the high street in post-credit crunch cities. Drive Thru’ is an EC Comics homage where a waitress has to defend herself against the occupant of a blacked-out limo who isn’t here for the fries and shake. Finally, Skyscrapped is a silent horror set in a skyscraper and a commentary on the blinkered nature of society today.
The writing is superb, changing style to suit the story. Some have narrator’s captions, others are in the modern style of just relying on dialogue and art. It is genuinely funny where it needs to be, ironic for those tales with a twist, and non-judgemental in those that require a ponder afterwards. That is the readers’ job, after all.
The art is spot on. Suitably cartoony so it can pull in and keep readers of more commercial comics who are less patient with the rough-hewn character of independent comics yet subtle enough in change for each story. The EC Comics-flavoured Drive Thru’ has that larger-than-life pop art caricature feel while the more social commentary Tough All Over has grimness all over it. In contrast, the superhero tale V is fluffy and light with bulging torsos or stereotype knock-out ladies.
London Horror Comic seems so polished and refined that it would be all too easy to ignore that it is cranked out by a very small team who sweat over making sure there is not a single bad line of dialogue or art just for their love of comics. Visit their website for back issues and more.