REVIEW: THE WATCHFUL SEA / AUTHOR: MARTIN IAN SMITH / ARTIST: NICOLAS R. GIACONDINO / PUBLISHER: ATTACKOSAUR COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Watchful Sea is the latest effort from Attackosaur Comics, who just so happen to specialise in some rather good one-shot horror comics. Set in deepest, darkest Wales, the story here revolves around a fisherman, Dafydd Thomas, and a gruesome discovery that essentially confines him to a lonely, desolate death. On a run-of-the-mill visit out into the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Dafydd discovers what appears to be a corpse. Taking the body back to land, it’s soon revealed that this is more than a mere corpse and it is most definitely not as dead as initially presumed. With the power to read the thoughts of anyone it has contact with, this being brings a whole host of misery along with it.
In terms of vibe and feel, The Watchful Sea has a very traditional, heartfelt, haunting and mischievous feel to it, much akin to the classic E.C. Comics of the 1950s or to the likes of Creepshow, Body Bags and Tales from the Crypt. Engulfed in sincerity, humour and affection, the book is an easy read that’s a wonderful way to spend half an hour of your time. In terms of the writing, Smith gives an honest, everyman feel to his characters and settings, creating an illusion of a world that is far, far away yet could just as easily be on your doorstep. The artwork from Giacondino is bold, minimalistic and effective, adding to the bleakness of the story being told.
Good horror comics can often be hard to come by these days, but The Watchful Sea succeeds in being a well-crafted, warm tale that harks back to a golden age of short horror affairs. With its coastal setting, not to mention certain panels, throwing up similarities to John Carpenter’s The Fog, long-time fans of horror will take a lot from The Watchful Sea and its ghoulish tale of man and apparent monster. Whilst it often brings a smile to the face, the book does also dare to throw up certain questions about man himself. Not to worry, though, for the story never once tries to slap you in the face with this.
A light-hearted, easy read, The Watchful Sea would be a welcome addition to the collection of fans of the classic horror comics of yesteryear.
For more on Attackosaur Comics, visit them here.
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