Monday, April 13, 2015

Through the Woods

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (2014)

In this collection of five graphic short stories, Emily Carroll lures the reader into dark places where things are just not right and anything is possible. In one story, three children are left alone when their father goes hunting, with explicit instructions of what to do if he doesn't return; in another, a young woman is married to an older man and moves into his house, which is full of secrets; in a third, a man sits in a pub watching his brother socialize, knowing that he has already murdered his brother so this can't be him. Each premise brings with it a bit of unease that only increases as the story progresses.

As is typical in horror, the endings aren't crystal clear and they're definitely not neatly tied up with a happy resolution. I didn't always exactly get the ending of these stories, but man, they were creepy. And sometimes it's the not-quite-getting-it that makes it even a little bit creepier because it remains mysterious.

I'm pretty sure I saw a review of this somewhere, but I will fully admit that the primary reason I read it is because of the cover art, which is representative of the vibrant, dramatic illustrations throughout.  My favorites were the stunning pictures of the house in "A Lady's Hands Are Cold" (which, isn't that a great title?) I am always impressed by how much can be conveyed by just one picture, and this collection includes many examples of just that.

The graphic novel is a great medium for scary tales and I'd love to find more. I tried Joe Hill's Locke and Key and it was all right, but I didn't love it even though I really enjoy his other work. Do you have any suggestions for scary graphic novels?

No comments: