Chico Comics Page Review: Infidel #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Illustrator: Aaron Campbell
Colorist: José Villarrubia
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
The first issue of Infidel proved to be quite an interesting read to me. I didn’t know what it was about before I choose to review it. I simply picked it for its name. I’m sort of glad I did because the issue is realistically scary and it’s respectful of its subject matter. To me, it was kind of reminiscent of the movie, Get Out, which was extremely eye-opening. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. In this issue, we are introduced to a Muslim American woman named Aisha who decides to move in with her non-Muslim partner, Tom, his daughter, Kris, and his mother, Leslie. She deals with the challenges of being a Muslim by dealing with a number of issues. Her own mother disagrees with her life choices. The other tenants in her building act blatantly racist towards her. On top of all that, the building is haunted. I really feel bad for Aisha. She is trying her best to deal with what’s in front of her. She has a close connection to Tom’s daughter, Kris, and that seems to be keeping her going. I have to tip my hat to Pornsak Pichetshote for combining horror elements with a sort of social commentary by showing a glimpse of the racism many Muslims are faced with. Pichetshote really understands that racism is no joke and explains that for some, it can be a nightmare that they cannot wake up from. If anything, I found this comic both entertaining and extremely informative in that we should respect people from different countries because we have no idea what they might be going through when coming to America.
In regards to the art, Aaron Campbell’s style really fit the tone of this comic. Some of the entities that appear in Aisha’s visions look like they are straight out of a horror movie. His pencils are very rugged and edgy, but also provide good detail when it comes to drawing people, the entities, and inanimate objects. I especially love his use of shadows (seen underneath a bed, in the corners of a room or a hallway). Villarrubia’s colors go hand-in-hand with Campbell’s style to show that this isn’t your typical comic where everything has a happy ending. Vibrant colors are used very rarely and we see darker tones used. In fact, I think we see more black and shadow-like colors used more than anything. When a certain monster or creature looks realistic, you know the artist and colorist have done their job. The entities freaked me out the most, making me feel as if I were watching a horror movie and keeping me on the edge of my seat. Last and most certainly not least, Jeff Powell’s lettering is spot on from start to finish. I had no trouble following along and the emphasis on certain words was clear. You might recognize Powell’s work from another Image Comics title, Scales & Scoundrels, which I reviewed recently and is on the complete other side of the comic spectrum than this one.
Overall, I would recommend picking up this comic if you are a fan of horror and you don’t mind commentary on racism towards Muslims or xenophobia because this team really nails it and provides a good balance of both. The art and colors are definitely on the unique side, but they fit the story well for what the writer is trying to get across. I suggest keeping an open mind when reading it because you might actually learn something. Racism is an important issue that should not go unnoticed and we should do our best to accept people for who they are.
An American Muslim woman named Aisha moves into a haunted building with her husband, Tom, and his family. Aisha keeps having these horrible nightmares with realistic entities that simply won’t leave her alone. Why? Her fear of extreme racism from those in her building. Will she overcome these devilish creatures in her dreams or will they eat her alive?
Sometimes our worst nightmares are right in front of us. Infidel #1 does a great job of balancing horror with social commentary on racism towards Muslims. The art is rugged and edgy, but uniquely tells the story that is being told. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a chinstrap on the beard scale, which is a 7/10.
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