Chico Comics Page Review: The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Steve Niles
Illustrator: Damien Worm
Colorist: Damien Worm
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
Last year, when October rolled around, I started to look around for titles that really fit into the Halloween theme to get more into the spirit of the holiday. Well, I wish this book had come out last October because it would have been perfect. In saying that, I absolutely loved this issue from beginning to end. It is the perfect balance of creepy, mysterious, horror, and supernatural rolled all into one casket (See what I did there?). Niles is clearly meant to write stories like this because I could not get enough. I will say that before this issue came out, the original October Faction had four volumes when it concluded. After reading this, I might just have to check these out in October. What I like about Niles’ writing is that, as a new reader to the series, I didn’t feel left out. I have questions, of course, but I did not feel lost. I like that Niles shows that some people have a hard time adjusting to the technology of the modern world (websites, emails, social media, YouTube channel, etc.). The Allan family is a family of monster hunters, which sort of reminds me of the Winchesters from the show Supernatural. Fred Allan, the father, has retired and now his son and daughter, Geoff and Vivian, are trying to find work. Vivian wants to set up a website where people can email them about monster problems and the father thinks it will attract too much attention and lead the monsters to their doorstep. Fred seems to be very old-fashioned and I like this conflict between them because it is similar to what some parents/grandparents experience when trying to adjust to the existence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. that their children/grandchildren make look so easy to use. Not only that, but Niles comments on the fact that some teenagers don’t want to work these days and we have all been there so it made the comic more relatable to me. Niles does a great balancing family conflict and mystery with humor and a creepy atmosphere. You know a book is good when you lose yourself in the story and it ends quicker than you wanted it to. I am definitely going to read the next issue to see where this story is headed.
The writing was great and the art by Damien Worm really sealed the deal for me. It is creepy, dark and twisted in the best ways. Something Tim Burton would be proud of, I’m sure. Worm’s art seemed like a cross between cartoon and comic with a touch of Burton’s style to it. He used a lot of dark colors, but whenever there was a supernatural occurrence or someone connecting with that realm, he used this bright turquoise color which I loved. His art just really works for this kind of tale and I can’t wait to see more of his work in the next issue. The lettering by Shawn Lee was great and I was able to read from start to finish without any issues. He emphasized words in bold when they needed it and some gave me laughs like when Fred suggested that Geoff and Vivian get actual jobs to make ends meet. They both said “JOBS?” and I chuckled. Lee capitalized the word, made it bigger and bolded it, which really made the moment for me.
Overall, I enjoyed this comic a lot. The characters were creepy and cool. Some made me laugh. Others were terrifying and completely badass. The writer did a good job of balancing humor and horror while incorporating mystery and supernatural themes. The artist really brought everything together between the ways he drew the characters to the colors he used. This comic is perfect for the month of October and Halloween, but if you love supernatural stuff, you can enjoy it year-round. If you like horror comics, movies or shows, this would be the right one for you. Even if you don’t, I would still encourage you to peruse through this book on the shelves of your local comic book shop. It is definitely worth the read whether you read it now or in October so check out and let us know what you think.
Meet the Allan family from the town of Gristlewood. They are not your average family in the slightest. They are monster hunters who are here to help with your supernatural needs. Geoff and Vivian, the son and daughter of Fred Allan, are trying to figure out how to find work. Vivian comes up with an idea for a website so people can email them if they need help with any out of the ordinary occurrences in their homes and so on. At the same time, a group of naïve teenagers is playing with a Ouija board (not sure why anyone would do that, but then again, teenagers). They summon a demon-like creature who kills them instantly. The Allan family is hired by the parents to investigate the murder. Can the Allan children handle this job or is the threat more dangerous than they think?
Lesson learned. Don’t play with Ouija boards… The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #1 does a flawless job at balancing the themes of horror, humor, mystery and supernatural/occult. The art is creepy, dark and twisted, and really blends well with the story being told. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a full beard on the beard scale, which is a 10/10.
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