Monday, 31 May 2021

These. Damn. Kids! #1 - Second Sight Publishing

THESE. DAMN. KIDS! No. 1, May 2021
Successfully funded through “Kickstarter” in November 2019, courtesy of 54 backers pledging $2,658, creator Bradley Golden’s claim that this particular “scary and twisted Horror series” could best be described as “Slither meets Children Of The Corn” probably actually undersells the comic’s terrifying narrative, and certainly won’t prepare the more faint-hearted bibliophiles from encountering a veritable treasure chest of decapitations, mutilations and downright grisliness. Indeed, for those readers who have young children, the storyline to Issue One of “These. Damn. Kids!” will literally have the adults up all night nervously watching their tightly shut bedroom doors and straining their ears for the tell-tale patter of little feet as they’re demonically-possessed dear ones mercilessly make their way towards them armed with all sorts of deadly house-hold objects.

Thankfully however, this twenty-two page periodical’s plot contains much more than a series of gruesome murders by providing plenty of focus on the book’s central protagonist Gary Marshall, long “before he became the hero cop on the case in Leave On The Light." Desperately trying to give up smoking, spend some quality time with his lovely wife, and keep his last meal down whilst examining macabre pieces of art built using assorted body parts, the policeman’s increasing suspicion as to just how the multiple victims’ children could somehow sleep through their ordeals nicely matches the readers’ increasing revulsion at the seemingly senseless mass killings; “That is very odd, from the looks of the murders, they must have made some noise. Kinda hard to sever a head without sound.”

In addition, Peter Breau and Golden’s collaborative script also manages to instil a little life into this publication’s wider cast, most notably Marshall’s wife, Kelli, who discovers she is pregnant halfway through the comic. True, few of these insights aren't particularly illuminating, but even the running gag throughout that the town needs a better Health Inspector owing to all the upset stomach cases occurring to the Sherriff’s people during this tummy-churning investigation makes the characters appear a little more human and much less simple cardboard caricatures.

Also worthy of note are Helmut Racho’s mesmerising layouts, which go a considerable way to depicting both the raw innocence of the children before they become possessed, and their utterly irreprehensible counter-parts, who seem perfectly capable of drilling their father to death with an electric drill whilst simultaneously carrying a disconcertingly joyous glint in their eyes. In fact, despite this book containing several gratuitously graphic splash-pages, it is the artist’s ability to suggest what occurred ‘off-screen’ which will undoubtedly give many within this prequel’s audience some seriously sleepless nights.

Writers: Peter Breau & Bradley Golden, and Artist: Helmut Racho

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