Published on June 4th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Nailbiter #2 – Comic Review
Anyone who thought that the cover of issue one was as disturbing as this series could get should probably look away now.
After a flashback sequence involving the end of a trial, the reader is subjected to a Silence of the Lambs style meeting between the law and the serial killer (alleged). This includes some obvious visuals of bubbling pans and torn apart carcases, but the conversation is very well constructed. Warren is creepy and will have the hairs on the back of your arm standing in the same way that Anthony Perkins did in Psycho, which is an impressive feat in a comic. The use of speech bubbles and lettering of different sizes helps to create an awkward, skin crawling atmosphere. A sequence late in the book has the a very similar affect using the killer’s point of view to make the reader feel uncomfortable; seeing the victim get attacked but being unable to do anything about it.
Joshua Williamson has written an amazing urban horror that is truly disturbing and makes the reader turn their eyes away in disgust. But like all good works of literature you will always turn back to see what happens next and that’s a real skill that Williamson has. No matter how grotesque the story becomes or how uncomfortable he makes the reader feel, the story is still compelling enough to see beyond all of that. The mystery element of the story, what has happened to Carroll? , is the driving force not only behind the central investigation but is also the hook to get the reader addicted.
Mike Henderson can really draw a burning figure. It’s realistic, unpleasant and difficult to look at which is exactly what a burning body should be like. He crafts a horrible series of images page after page. The only flaw in the art work is that occasionally some of the facial expressions lack emotion but this only happens a few times and maybe even character related, like the dubious collection of emotionless sociopaths from Twin Peaks.
Nailbiter 2 is a gripping but unpleasant jaunt through a disturbed town. It’s not going to appeal to everyone because of its depictions of mutilation and horror but if that is your type of thing then you should be reading this comic. The thing that makes this stand out from a selection of other horror/crime comics is that there is little sensationalism between these pages. I never at any point feel as though I should root for the psychopaths in the story, they are deranged figures who are, and here’s that word again, disturbing. If I had to sum this comic up it would be with the word ‘disturbing’, but in a good way.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson