By now I am sure you are all very familiar with Scott Snyder. After all, the creator has singlehandedly put the horror genre in a sleeper-hold even Hulk Hogan would applaud. However, even though the “AMERICAN VAMPIRE” scribe has been earning his Industry Merit Badges mostly due to his frighteningly good run on DC’s “DETECTIVE COMICS”, he hasn’t even begun to forget about his roots in the horror industry. Instead of taking the road so many others have in the past once they see stardom, Snyder has embraced the genre and sought to not only dabble in it, but to master it. Case in point – “SEVERED” Issue #1, or as I like to call it: “Potential Horror Mini-Series Of The Year”. Read on for the skinny…
‘NOTHING WASTED,’ Part One 1916. A man haunts the roads; a man with sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh. When 12-year-old Jack Garron runs away from home, he’ll see how quickly the American Dream becomes a nightmare. Be there at the beginning of the series that everyone will be talking about! From Eisner-nominated writer SCOTT SNYDER (American Vampire, Detective Comics), SCOTT TUFT and ATTILA FUTAKI (NYT Best-Selling-Artist: Percy Jackson) comes the most terrifying horror series of 2011–SEVERED.”
Back in the Middle Ages known to most contemporary adolescents as The 80s and 90s, there was a wave of good, wholesome, purely American cinema that took viewers back to a time less frightening than the digital age. In fact Hollywood has for years used the Rose Colored facade of those strange decades the nested in the timeline between the turn of the century and 1960 to try and convey a sense of calm. A pacifism that went the way of the Dingo after Hippies discovered free love and the money they could save on not buying deodorant. It was a different time. A time of values, of family, the sanctity of marriage was still made of the finest fresh sheep’s wool, and Americans had cold noses. Sure, there are all sorts of exceptions within cinema, but the propaganda machine always seems to do its best to give you the brighter shades of the spectrum, while the truth takes a baseball bat to the temple. But that is all a lie.
The world is depraved. This is a simple, tangible, albeit inconvenient nugget of truth that wriggles its way into our subconscious and causes us to lock the deadbolt every night. It is what causes women to carry pepper spray and men to have to get up during the movie to walk to the bathroom with their girlfriends. This world is a scary sonofabitch with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth, a tongue dripping of blood, and at least a half-dozen crazed eyes. But even that would not be as ugly as the portrait that Scott Snyder and Scot Tuft have created in the name of “The Sales Man”. A character that will find a way to become your shiny new boogeyman, and scare that crap out of you while he’s at it.
The story of “SEVERED” is tight, and in typical style Snyder is able to weave a story that, with their various overlapping strands, creates a web that is as tight as even the best New York Times Best Seller. The story begins in 1916, introducing readers to the core cast of the story, while also making the seamless segway into introducing us to “The Sales Man”, a gaunt, dark, and sinister force that would make Stephen King proud. The first issue moves quickly, cramming as much back story into its 32 pages as possible. The writing duo predictably stick with the “less is more” approach to this one, and only shine enough light to keep you throwing rocks at this one’s window all night long.
The most impressive aspect of all just might be comic newcomer Attila Futaki “PERCY JACKSON”), who has somehow captured these little slices of Americana as vividly as someone who lived it. The pages bleed with a sense of nostalgia, and harkens back to the feel of such stories as Ketchum’s “THE GIRL NEXT DOOR”. Everything is breathing and alive, and the characters express a sort of life that one would come to expect from a seasoned vet. It might be early, but Attila Futaki could just wind up becoming a name to keep an eye on in the future if he able to keep this up.
To be frank, “SEVERED” cannot be talked about until it is read. The story is a double barreled shotgun pointed at your chest with a hair trigger and a junky at the helm. It is a macabre love letter to the stories of Jack Ketchum and Stephen King, but it is also the start of a new series that could bare the strenuous task of making horror comics respectable again as an art-form, and give Robert Kirkman and “THE WALKING DEAD” a chance to ice their shoulders. In fact, “SEVERED” has the potential to be Scott Snyder’s “IT”, and propel his already rising star to such plateaus. So then the spotlight falls firmly on Scott Tuft, a writer that will likely be in much higher demand when all is said and done, because if one thing is certain it is this: you NEED to read this book. Or you need to stop bitching that horror can’t be taken seriously anymore.
4.5 Out Of 5 Skulls
“SEVERED” Issue #1 Drops August 3rd From Image Comics! (MSRP – $2.99)