The Chair #2 of 4 (Review)

The Chair #2
Alterna Comics © 2017
Writer, Inker, Letterer, Cover Colors: Peter Simeti
Pencils, Cover: Kevin Christensen
Editor: Erin Kohut


Sullivan is not in for a good treat when the Warden enters the prison. Dealing with the torture of being stranded on death row both physically psychologically, it is only a matter of time before his time comes to past.

Simeti has orchestrated quite the dour yet enticing little comic here. There is no hope in this setting at all, he is not out to make Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile. No, this is death row at its worst, with sociopathic guards and all, it is real. Simeti constructs something of a noir like tale. The comic can become quite wordy given the monologue but it works and to good effect, as you feel sympathy for this man, though a criminal. This noir vibe is emphasized more given his lettering and inks. In one panel the lettering appears on what could be giant monitors in some Orwellian setting, then in other panels it appears as huge words out of nowhere like an old Spirit comic. The words become all-encompassing and embracing, driving our main character to possible insanity. They are not just text and word balloons on the page. Instead Simeti grants them actual use and character. Inking this comic with no color also helps bring out the hopelessness of this story as well. There is no need for the color in such a horrific and brutal setting. Kevin Christensen adds his rough, sketchy pencil work on top of all this. He draws real people, in a slightly comic manner. The guards are all ripped, but our prisoners are hardly cover models. Though, his Warden looks a lot like a demented Rick from Rick & Morty will say, which can become distracting. Given the design and what the warden does it is hard to believe this guy is the warden and instead is just a title.

We have an intriguing little horror comic here, accomplished well with no real monsters or intense gore. Instead, the comic is based on atmosphere, flat out terrible people and the design work. It does feel small and wish there could be more. But hey, that is what the next issue is for, right?


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