Chico Comics Page Review: Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: 2/21/18
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Blacky Shepherd
Colors: Thiago Ribeiro
Letters: Troy Peteri
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Kyle Strahm
Letters: Troy Peteri
A) Kelly Jones & Chris O’Halloren
C) Ken Haeser & Buzz Hasson with Colors by Blair Smith
Reviewer: Michael Nunneley
The cover of Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5) Kelly Jones & Chris O’Halloren does look good. It’s revealing, creepy and macabre. The color choices seem to be right on as well – the red background denoting that death & violence has occurred. This is obviously very apropos to the subject matter. My one complaint is the inking – it seems kind of heavy handed. The problem with big blackout spots and no guiding lines is that it removes much of the shape/dimension of the image. While we get some of that in the shape of the blackout spots, the image comes across as a little flat. But it’s not a bad cover. I just have that one issue with it.
The main story interior art of Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5) by Blacky Shepherd is of course brilliant. If you read our Artist’s Spotlight on Mr. Shepherd (which you can do here) then you’ve seen his excellent pencil-work yourself. Shepherd puts a lot of detail into his work. Even some fun Easter eggs for his fans (coffee cup). But not just detail, Shepherd has a really good concept of both texture as well as shape/dimension and expresses them in a very entertaining way. The panels are realistic and yet still fantastic in their feel, Honestly, I sat and looked at each panel for a good minute before I started reading. This display was also brilliantly colored by Thiago Ribeiro – who brought vibrancy, additional light/shadow effects and powerful colors to the panels and yet did not drown out the foundational work. These two work well together.
The backup story interior art of Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5) by Kyle Stahm was strange. It had this creepy black and white cartoon feel to it. It came across even worse than it is because of the excellence of the art that preceded it. It told the story well enough, but the writing was clearly that star of this backup story as it was actaully quite interesting.
The storytelling/writing on Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5) by Cullen Bunn is quite good. I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite aspects though is how Bunn works with the artist. The art doesn’t just illustrate the story, the artwork (thanks to the direction of Cullen Bunn’s script) actually tells half the story. The way Bunn wrote this, the reader has to pat close attention to both what is being said as well as what has been & is being seen in the panels. If you don’t you’ll miss some juicy stuff. I love Bunn’s style in this. He really utilizes the whole medium – like he’s one of the few writers who sees the bigger picture beyond just writing the story. Great dialog, narration and pacing. The storytelling as I have said was awesome.
The lettering in Pumpkinhead #1 (of 5) by Troy Peteri was good but I did have a singular issue with it. The font choices were good, the letter-sizes were good, the layout is both good and bad. On one hand it’s presented well and is easily readible. It also allows for the artwork to express itself. What it doesn’t always do is guide and direct the reader’s eyes well. There were 2 spots where I had to figure out where to go as it was not obvious.
“For each of Man’s evils, a special demon exists.”
For thirty years, the demon of vengeance has been still, its corpse buried in a pumpkin patch graveyard in the hills. But when a reckless driver accidentally kills a pair of children, the creature is called up once more. This time, though, the monster’s intended target is protected by a cruel backwoods crime family. They hatch their own supernatural plans for dealing with Pumpkinhead. For each of man’s sins, a special demon exists, and when seven infernal creatures roam the hills and the hollows, no one–guilty or otherwise–is safe.
Should you buy this book? I definitely think you should & I think you should watch the 1988 Pumpkinhead film if you haven’t already – as both are excellent. This story really fills out the Pumkinhead world. It gives the lore historicity and character, background and a bigger view. The story and art are amazing. I honestly don’t see how someone could NOT love this book.
Skully’s Official Awesomo-Meter Reading is 10/10
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