Review: David Perry’s Scratch – Chapter 1: “The Wake”

ScratchCoverGood 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.

#MyFavSatan – How can you not like that hashtag?

By William Hohmeister

A Host of Devils*

The devil appears in more movies than any other character, with the possible 5-1-Devil-(South-Park)-715234exception of Santa. Hollywood has a strange relationship with the Dark Prince, picking and choosing traits from religious myths, later works, and the 80’s devil scare propaganda. Most folks, when they think of Ol’ Scratch, picture a mix of the serpent in Eden, a fallen angel, and a pentagram-loving lunatic who enjoys people in robes sacrificing kids to him. I asked several friends, on and off Twitter, which Satan they liked best. I got almost all different answers, with only one duplicate.

1. Satan, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

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Knock Four Times

ed. – We’re breaking with tradition today. Rather than Batman, we bring you Doctor Who and Satan. And what two characters would approve more of breaking with tradition? This is the final installment of Will’s series on Paradise Lost and the Doctor. Fortunately for the rest of us, it is not Will’s last post 🙂 

by William Hohmeister

Christianity and Paradise Lost understand the myth of the devil wrong. Both claim that obedience is the most spiritually important action. Faith depends on it, and everything else depends on faith. God allows Adam and Eve a second chance despite their betrayal. If Satan had not tempted them, they would have remained obedient. Satan does not get the same treatment, because his betrayal came from within. Satan reaches the same conclusion: he considers begging God for forgiveness, but he reasons he would rebel again eventually.

I don’t agree. Faith has some virtues, but it still demands belief  without proof.

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Who Saves The Doctor?

by William Hohmeister

Doctor Who uses many myths to support both individual episodes and entire seasons. “Dalek”, the reappearance of the Dalek race in the new series, draws upon the myth of the Dalek Empire. Formerly a reality in earlier episodes, when we first meet them they are a myth of the universe the Doctor inhabits. The Doctor’s reaction to even one Dalek tells the audience all we need about the strength of that myth, and drives the action of the episode. Similarly, another myth supports not just an episode or season, but the entire first four seasons of Doctor Who and the character of the Doctor.

The devil is the myth that drives and supports the Doctor’s character over four seasons. 

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