Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rowans Ruin - A Four Issue Mini Series

This is the way horror has always meant to be done.  Sure, a little bit of blood and violence is okay, but the psychological terror is what makes a story truly horrific.   And Mike Carey nailed it with his four-issue mini-series from Boom Studios, Rowans Ruin.

The story centers around Katie, who does a house-swap with Emily and ends up in a house in the English countryside, known as Rowans Rise.  Katie pretty much has free reign of the house, with the exception of Emily's room, which she is told is completely off limits.  As Katie starts to meet people in the community, she finds them not too welcoming when they discover where she is staying.  Then there's the face at the window.

And so starts the psychological terror, as Katie begins to realize there is something not right about the house.  And when she finds the door to Emily's room open, she can't help herself.  She goes in to explore and finds a lot more than she ever bargained for.

There were several dogs who were killed on the property.

Emily's younger sister was savagely beaten.

Her parents were killed in a tragic automobile accident.

Emily's boyfriend had his throat slit open.

Katie begins to realize that someone...or targeting Emily.  The only problem is, Emily won't talk about it.  So Katie does something she never thought she would do again.  She opens herself to the emotions of the house and ends up meeting those ghosts of those who died within those walls.  Ghosts who seem none too friendly.  Ghosts who will do anything to protect Emily - - even if that means getting Katie out of the way!

This four-issue mini-series is fast paced and enthralling, and unlike many of today's comics, it is chock full of story.  The characters are engaging, and when someone close to Katie is killed, you, as the reader, will feel the impact of it.

And then there's that nice little twist at the end of issue 3 that sets everything up for the big climactic battle in the final issue.  While I began to suspect it by the end of issue 2, it still comes on as a shock to actually see it.

And speaking of "seeing" it.  Let me tell you, the art in this book is absolutely gorgeous.  Mike Perkins (who I am fortunate enough to know personally) is a VERY talented artist, and his ability to not only draw people and expressions, but to visually create a moving story in 2-dimensional pictures is without comparison.  His is the kind of art that almost makes you feel like you are watching a film or television show rather than reading something on the printed page.  His art is alive, and there is absolutely no way you could not love it!

While I was sorry to see that this story was only 4 issues and not an ongoing series, I can honestly say I am extremely happy that Mike and Mike simply told the story and left it at that.  No padding, no stretching it, no trying to leave an open-ended tale so someone else could come along and try to continue it.  It has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it works.  Well worth every penny I paid for the issues, and then some!  I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good horror or thriller.

RATING:  10 circles of salt out of 10 for telling a story that was SO worth reading!

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