Good day, everyone! Today, I am finally coming through with my first review of an independent graphic work. I’m reviewing Scratch Chapter 1: “The Wake” by David Perry. If any of you are interested in submitting work for me to review, please see my earlier post on the subject and contact us.
First, I would like to thank David for his submission. I have enjoyed reading it and our conversations thus far. I would also like to thank him for his patience and I hope he will agree to let me review more of his work here in the future.
I must say that “The Wake” is a compelling introductory chapter to what I hope continues to grow into a longer work. It begins with an attempted suicide and a larger mystery as to characters’ identities and relationships, all set to “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues. Who is Lydia? Who is Ezra? How exactly to they know each other and what has damaged them both so much?
So far, the answers are not clear, but I want to keep reading to find out. The larger work draws on an old name for the devil, and the chapter ends on the cusp of a familiar sort of deal being made. I won’t go into specifics here in order to avoid any more spoilers than I’ve already given, but if stories about damaged people and alcohol-soaked heartbreak with a dash of the supernatural are your cup of tea, I’d definitely recommend looking into Scratch when it becomes more widely available.
David’s artwork is as compelling as the story and lends itself well to the presented subject matter. The mostly silent, straightforward panel arrangement paired with the lines from the song in the early parts of the chapter are chilling and succeed in cluing the reader into the story’s emotional edge from the get-go. Additionally, the choice to render this comic primarily in black and white with a few selectively colored items are reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City, evoking a sense of a dirty, lawless city where the devil hides behind dumpsters, Mulholland Drive-style.
I am pleased with the harmony between the prose in the chapter and the accompanying artwork. All too often, one overwhelms the other when a story is told as a comic, but I am glad to see this is not the case so far with Scratch. If you are interested in seeing more of David Perry’s artwork or checking out one of his web comics, visit his website at Petty Torture Productions.
That’s it for my thoughts on this chapter. What do you all think so far? Who else is on board for Scratch? What do you think of David’s other work on his website? Let me know in the comments below. Tweet me @quaintjeremy.