SPEAK NO EVIL is a comic series about a pair of enterprising brothers who happen to stumble upon an old cabin once used by H.P. Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla for twisted experiments into worlds beyond our own. What they think is a quick payday turns out to be a disaster for the world around them, but excellent reading for us.
I can’t talk about this series without talking about the art, first. To say it’s well done would be an understatement. Vivid colors depicting the supernatural against a backdrop of 1930s grey drab really brings the story to life, with enough variations in the panel size and placement to keep the eyes drawn in without having to figure out where to put your focus next. Without giving away too much, I particularly appreciated the stylized approach to separating the different story-lines, which kept the story flowing nicely.
“Supernatural” watchers look out, because the brothers in this comic series reminded me straight away of Sam and Dean. They’re depicted with special attention paid to details like mannerisms and dialogue, which is not an easy task given the short amount of text. While the plot is on the predictable side and driven by a series of coincidences or accidents, the amount of character given to the brothers drives the story forward. The interesting bits here aren’t the monsters and gangsters, they’re how the brothers react to them, which is what truly makes a story good.
If I’ve got to nitpick about something (and, you know me, of course I do), it’s the onomatopoeia. A comic wouldn’t be a comic without its BLAMs and SPLOOSHs, but a lot of the time, the word choices are off, making what looks like are meant to be frightening images come off as silly. It’s like the writer thinks in storyboard, but puts it on the page as a comic. The disconnect is palpable, but not too distracting.
My favorite parts of this, though, are the short, backstory pages at the ends of each issue. It gives the story heart, making it more than just monsters and gangsters.
Overall, the first two issues of SPEAK NO EVIL are definitely worth the read, and I, personally, hope they get funding for the rest of this story to play out. I’m intrigued to see what kind of trouble Silas and Edwin get into next.