Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Creep #1

Written by John Arcudi
Art by Jonathan Case

The Creep is an interesting new series at Dark Horse.  Like many of their new comics, this one began as a serial in Dark Horse Presents, and then had those installments reprinted as a zero issue, before this, 'first' issue came out.  Reading those prior chapters are essential to understanding this book, which I think could be problematic for people who like to start a new series by buying the first issue...

Anyway, this comic is very good.  The titular 'creep' is Oxel, a private detective with a medical condition that has caused his body to grow to gigantic proportions, and which causes him to be wracked by headaches, uncontrollable sweating, and other discomforts.  Oxel has been contacted by a former girlfriend, who he knew only before his condition began, who wants him to look into the conditions surrounding her only son's suicide.

Curtis killed himself shortly after his only friend, Mike, killed himself.  Because of this, Curtis's grandfather, who was close with both boys, has fallen apart to the point that he is living on the streets, and Cutis's mother, Stephanie, is convinced that there was something more going on.  She sees suicide as a contagion that Curtis caught from Mike.  She's asked Oxel to look into things, and while he is, he has been avoiding contacting her.

In this issue, Oxel interviews Curtis's father, who he knew back in college, and works with the contagion theory.  Arcudi is setting the story up to suggest that there may have been more to Mike and Curtis's friendship, possibly some secret involving the grandfather as well, but he's playing it close to the vest.

Jonathan Case's art is great.  There's a cool scene towards the end of the book where he switches to a sketchier, watercoloured look when Oxel tries to imagine the boys' lives, which then continues into his own reality.  It's clear that Oxel isn't well, but to what extent his condition affects his judgement, we don't know.  This is a series worth checking out.

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