Thursday, 19 May 2016

The October Faction #6 - IDW Publishing

Whilst most decidedly not the “macabre-action” issue advertised by “IDW Publishing”, at least not once Deloris Allan has disarmed an axe-wielding Robot Face, kicked him out of an upper storey window and finally beaten him unconscious using a nearby tree. Issue Six of “The October Faction” does at least finally provide some explanation as to the mystery surrounding the comic book series’ unusual title, as well as addressing just why Fred and his wife are “both blonds” and their children dark-haired. However the fact it takes creator Steve Niles almost half the length of this twenty-page periodical to provide such answers must surely have frustrated many of this magazine’s readers, especially when such exposition occurs during an infuriatingly dreary dining room discussion.

Unfortunately, this instalment’s laborious, arguably undisciplined, plot development is not particularly surprising considering the horror novelist’s “very strange” admission that whilst penning his scripts he finds “some of the stuff” he has the characters doing ‘surprising even him’. Indeed the new Jersey-born writer has confessed to having no “detailed outlines… [as to] how things turn out” and firmly believes that “part of the fun of this is [his] only having a loose idea of where I’m going to be going.”

So disconcerting an omission regarding the narrative’s attention to detail presumably therefore explains why Dante, having only just tried to kill the retired monster hunter, his wife and Geoff with an enormous double-edged medieval weapon is inexplicably untied, illogically handed a glass of wine and then nonsensically welcomed into “The October Family” during an emotional teary-eyed toast; “That’s the plan? The whole plan? He tried to kill me!”

Damien Worm’s unique artwork also seems to suffer during this lamentably incongruous ‘domestic reunion’. Poignantly passionate when depicting the sinisterly tense confrontation between Robot Face and Frederick, and then dynamically charged whilst illustrating Deloris’ subsequent impressive smack down of the homicidal teenager. The Spaniard’s breakdowns throughout the entirety of the Allan’s red-hued evening meal appear shockingly poor and arguably even lazy, as the same panels focusing upon the cast’s fraught facial expressions are re-used repeatedly; perhaps occasionally with the odd panel showing some discernible movement of the eye.
Writer: Steve Niles, Illustrator: Damien Worm, and Color Assistant: Alyzia Zherno

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