Hello horror hounds,
Tonight I will be reviewing a graphic novel called “Identity Thief” by Bryant Dillon and Meaghan O'Keefe. From the description: “When Daphne and Craig move into a new apartment, they have every reason to believe that they have left their troubled past behind them. Everything seems perfect, but after the discovery of a mysterious hatch in his closet, Craig begins to realize that something disturbingly inhuman is seeking a way into his home, desperate to enter his life in the most intimate and unsettling way possible.”
The first thing I noticed in this graphic novel was the art. Our opening panel shows the outlines of our two leads in the background as they stare towards us into their new apartment. The colors are dark and muted creating an instantly chilling vibe which is carried forward by the character designs themselves. Both of our leads boast dark, precise outlines which, apart from their hair, looks very defined. The contrast of the meticulous profiles combined with the wild hair creates a further sense of unease even before the title character appears.
The creature slinks around the apartment (with its own sound effects) in an eerie fashion with a subtly hostile goal that is only implied. It creature itself is defined by a bony, pale look that is all sorts of creepy crawly with its spine being especially prevalent. As we move further into the story, the look of the creature becomes more important to the overall plot of the piece.
For the most part the story is told through action which can be a little difficult to pin down sometimes. As much as the artwork creates a distinct sensation it also can occasionally be difficult to tell what was going on in certain panels. Even though some of the finer details of the action were hard for me to pick up on, the overall plot of the piece was easy to pick up on thanks to the dialogue itself.
The first few pages contain a fair amount of conversation to setup the tale. To be honest, some of these first dialogues felt a bit exposition heavy, but as things moved on it settled into a comfortable groove where I could actually imagine distinct voices for the two leads. Even though there is not much talking in this story, it became a very important feature by the end as it helped to better show the changes happening around the characters.
Overall this short graphic novel feels very dense just due to the sense of dread it elicits from the reader.
-The Creeping Craig