This one-and-done story told over just twenty-four pages is shockingly effective; ramping up the tension with each and every page as we gradually learn more about Brendan's life up to this point. Indeed, a time-hopping narrative such as this one can sometimes be confusing but here, it's handled expertly, never bogging down the book's fast pace only adding more depth to this memorable haunting tale. The book's two leads Brendan and his close friend Tamsin are compelling; their interactions coming across as refreshingly realistic.
Birks finds new and intriguing ways to creep out his readers that are brought stunningly to life by artist Ege Avci. Avci's illustrations are a crucial element in establishing this book's moody tone, with his distinctive character designs and macabre backgrounds proving to be somehow unnerving and beautiful simultaneously. Even the panels that feature no paranormal activity have an air of eeriness about them, and often it's hard to shake the feeling that something is watching in their darkest corners.
For such a short story, Hexes has an impressive feeling of unpredictability about it keeping you guessing as to the final destination up to the very last page. This makes it all the more disappointing that the book falters somewhat in its ending, which feels quite abrupt and a little confusing. Putting salt in the wound is the knowledge that with issue two moving on to a brand new story, we're unlikely to get the answers that are absent in this finale. Nonetheless, Hexes is a very enjoyable read which horror fans should definitely have on their radar.
HEXES #1: THE BOY WHO CAME CLOSER / AUTHOR: SIMON BIRKS / ARTIST: EGE AVCI / PUBLISHER: BLUE FOX COMICS / RELEASE DATE: TBC