Comics Alternative, Webcomics: Reviews of Broodhollow, Wilde Life, and False Positive

Listen to the podcast!

October Eeriness

BroodhollowFor the month of October, Sean and Derek have decided to focus on three supernaturally themed webcomics so as to keep in the spirit (pun intended) of Halloween. They begin with Kris Straub’s Broodhollow. This is the story of an anxiety-ridden and superstitious encyclopedia salesman, Wadsworth Zane, who inherits a deceased relative’s antique business in the small town of Broodhollow. Strange things keep happening to Wadsworth during his stay in the town…and in fact, there seems to be something about Broodhollow that nurtures unexplained phenomena. As Sean points out, Straub is one of the pioneers of the webcomic platform, so he knows how to tell a good story using the specifics of the medium. WildeLifeWhat’s more, his simple and “cartoony” style contrasts sharply with the nightmarish nature of his subject matter, contributing to the webcomic’s unsettling effect. Next, the guys look at another title involving an outsider unwittingly falling prey to new, unexplainable surroundings. Pascalle Lepas’s Wilde Life is about a young Chicago journalist who moves to a small, rural town in Oklahoma. The house that he rents — what appeared to be a too-good-to-be-true deal on Craig’s List — is actually haunted by the ghost of a young female mathematician who died in the 1940s. His dilemma is compounded by the other supernatural figures he encounters around town, including a teenage werewolf, a talking bear, a young kid poltergeist, and a landlady named Barbara Yaga who may actually be a witch. Derek and Sean wrap up their show with a composite webcomic. Comprising multiple short stories, Mike Walton’s False Positive is similar to Split Lip, which the guys discussed back in June, but what distinguishes Walton’s narratives is the macabre tone found throughout. The guys highlight some of their favorites in the collection, including “Found in His Hand” (a heist story with a disturbingly fantastical twist), “Frenzy” (where noir meets Lovecraft), and “Incantation” (a series of beautifully rendered ritualistic transformations). All in all, there is a lot creepiness packed into this month’s webcomic episode, stories perfect for late-night reading.