Comics: North 40

"Somewhere in Midwestern America was a place called Conover County. When the old book was opened, and the runes therein used in haste and ignorance, a place of farms, simple folk, and small-town dreams became a den of monsters and nightmare. NORTH 40 is the story of those who survived and came to confront an even greater evil on the horizon – one that wouldn't just consume their flesh, but their souls as well. Heroes arise with power to bring against the dark: Wyatt, an unwilling protector of his former tormentors; Amanda, an apprentice to forgotten arts; and Sheriff Morgan, whose bonds with Conover County go back farther than even he can remember."

The comics world has been a twitter over this newest mini series out of DC Comics imprint Wildstorm. Penned by long running web comic Nodwick creator Aaron Willams and drawn by newcomer Fiona Staples, North 40 promises a touch of Lovecraftian horror. While it always seems a bit over ambitious when something is labeled as such, I was happy to see that they weren't over exaggerating when the preview copy landed on my desk.

There is a great small town feel to the artwork and characters of "North 40" and they let you slide into feeling comfortable right off the bat. They lull you into a bit of normalcy before cranking up the weirdness in one fell swoop. The lovecraftian tones are strong throughout and work as well, though there are a few point of view changes and plot turns that seem a touch abrupt at first. While these may make you turn back to make sure you didn't miss something from time to time, issue #1 manages to hit its stride by the end of the book proving that this will be a catchy little mini series by the time its all said and done. There are the hints of horror that I've mentioned above as well as a feel of a good old fashioned super hero story, albeit with a twist. The story overall is just quirky enough to make it feel fresh and new.

The other aspect that helps to draw in the reader here is the artwork. While Staples has sat in on a few books to get her feet wet, she gets her chance to shine here and uses every moment of the spotlight to its full effect. The drawing is great and works well and the touches of elder horrors come across fantastically.

"North 40" isn't going to scare the socks off of you but it's going to catch your attention and hold it.

Issue #1 one of "North 40" streets on July 8th and weighs in at 32 pages.


Writer/Podcast Host/Cheerleader

Falling in love with the sounds of his own voice, Casey can be found co-hosting the Bloody Good Horror Podcast, the spinoff Instomatic Podcast as well as the 1951 Down Place Podcast dedicated to Hammer Horror. Casey loves horror films of every budget and lives by his battle cry of 'I watch crap, so you don't have to.'

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