[Indie Spotlight] ‘Twisted Tales of Murder and Madness’ #1

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With an excellent premise, “Twisted Tales of Murder and Madness” #1 unleashes a disturbing collection of crime, revenge, and gore. You won’t be expecting where the characters take the story in this indie crime thriller from Rick Tobin and Tadd Galusha. After a great start, hopefully there will be more of these “Twisted Tales” to come.

WRITTEN BY: Rick Tobin
ART BY: Tadd Galusha
PUBLISHER: Twisted Publications, Inc.
PRICE: $1.49
RELEASE: April 24TH, 2013

John has just made a complete fool of himself at a New Year’s Eve Party. To get the courage to propose to his longtime girlfriend, he drowns himself in booze. Had he been sober, John would’ve foreseen the warning signs. He should never asked her to be his wife. John never realized his girlfriend and his best friend were having an affair behind his back. Time has healed no wounds as a year has passed and John is still hateful towards them. Can John plan his revenge against his ex, while a crooked detective is prowling the streets?

Writer Rick Tobin does a great job with his characterizations, making them feel fleshed out with their personalities. At first, John appears carefree and juvenile because he is completely in love with his girlfriend. But when his whole world comes crashing down, John can’t handle the betrayal. He becomes meaner and spiteful towards everyone, just like Detective Spurlock. Because they have been pushed over the edge, they share a common outlook on life and take what they want by force.

Tobin builds the suspenseful tension throughout the issue. Just when John thinks he is going to enjoy torturing his ex-girlfriend, he suddenly has to deal with an invited guest. John has to pretend everything is cool and keep his gust entertained, while his ex-flame is trying to break free. My only complaint is that the abrupt ending. The last panel isn’t exactly what you would call a cliff-hanger. “Now what are they going to do?” was my first response. Otherwise, the rest of the story keeps up with a fast pace.

Artist Tadd Galusha illustrates a dark and edgy world for the hard-bitten characters. There is an emphasis on shadows, especially when John hides in the basement. The black tones give a rougher look to the tattoos on Detective Spurlock’s arms. During his introduction, John appears lanky, almost fragile, and notice how he is the shortest person in the party. After a year has passed, Galusha does a complete 180 on John’s character design. Because he is heartbroken, John is now unshaven, more muscular, and his hair has grown longer.

When Galusha gets right down to the horror, the images are very chilling. Galusha doesn’t shy away when John tortures his ex girlfriend by picking put her fingernails. Adding to the goriness. Galusha places the camera close as John hacks off her ear with a hand saw. Wait till you see what the dead bodies look like when the mutilation is all over.

Full of hardboiled characters, “Twisted Tales of Madness and Murder” #1 is an unflinching look at torture porn and brutal revenge. Part of a bigger story, I’m hoping the next set of tales will be just as interesting.

3.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis

Pick up “Twisted Tales of Murder and Madness” #1 on iTunes