Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Horror by Gaslight: The Surfing the Bleed Review of Omnitarium #1

Omnitarium #1

Writer - Jamie Gambell
Illustrator - J.C. Grande
Letterer - Bernie Lee

Issue number one of the new indy horror series, Omnitarium, offers an interesting start to what promises to be a haunting Victorian tale. Set in and around a 19th century prison, Omnitarium feels like equal parts Doyle and Lovecraft. Series creator Jamie Gambell, a film industry vet with a love for comics, has created a world inhabited by mysterious writers, overly-idealistic jailers, shadowy doctors and the omni-present threat of the supernatural. Equal parts mystery and tale of terror, the first issue offers a perfect balance of action and exposition; just enough to whet our appetite and leave us clamoring for more.

All of this is illustrated by J.C. Grande, whose heavy lines leave the reader nostalgic for early Frank Miller when the swords are flying and Bernie Wrightson when the shadows creep in. That's not to say that the art isn't without flaw, but Grande shows a true talent for the kind of penciling required to evoke the mood of a good horror story and his layouts are top notch.

There is a lot of talent to be found on the pages of this first issue. I'll be anxiously awaiting the subsequent chapters in this story, happy to watch the evolution of two burgeoning creators and the characters they've so deftly brought to life.

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