Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Packs of the Lowcountry: Kickstarter Review

Monster Mash

Written by: John Dudley
Pencils/Inks: Don Cardenas
Letters: John Westhoff/Don Cardenas
Colors: Mark Dale / Kelly Fitzpatrick 

If you are susceptible to post Halloween blues, then a Kickstarter OGN project going live from 1st November might be the tonic you are looking for. Packs of the Lowcountry is an ambitious independent comic project which tackles high concept ideas. Set 16 years after an alien invasion, the Southern states are now filled with wolf-like marauders, denying safe haven to the book's makeshift team of adventurers.  

The book opens with crew of investigators accompanying the central character Bastion Conroy and ushering him through dangerous territories towards Dr Beach. Conroy is a little suspect at first and the rest of his crew shows some concerns that he's never been on an active mission outside the walls of the Free land. This crew is pretty bad-ass and consists of Hel and Sergeant Merrel from the military side of things, and Lyle and Gills who know the terrain and act as guides to the investigative team. 



Dr Beach is a highlight of the book, he's pretty crazy at the start (although with a good taste in music) and the book keeps pulling you back and forward. You are never too sure exactly what to make of him. The other main protagonist is Baker, who acts as the main challenge to Beach's plans, as well as carrying an intriguing backstory.

I thought that Dudley's writing in this publication (which is a compilation of single issues 1-6) was pretty tight. It keeps the interest up and has lots of twists and nuanced character development. You are left with a clear sense of the characters' motivations and experiences and there is a palpable sense of danger without making the reader ever truly despair. The closing of the book, and the interactions between Baker and Beach, was particularly strong. 


The surprise for me was the art however. At first I felt it to be inconsistent and I wasn't overly enamored of Cardenas' style. Despite this though I found myself gradually warming to it, and by the final stages of the book it had won me over. It has quite a quirky style to it but it won't be to everyone's tastes. The facial expressions of the characters can look a little off, but I had come to quite like that towards the end. I also found the color art in the book appealing (particularly in its depiction of the characters Hel and Bastion), and the style and colors combined harked back to my favorite era of Marvel comics in the early 1990s. 

Bits and Pieces:


If you are looking for some post-Halloween horror set in the South, then this book might be the one for you. I would advise you to peruse some of the artwork first, as it won't be to everyone's taste. Story-wise though it's a pretty gripping plot and it tackles some very interesting ideas as well as delivering some unique characters. 

6.5/10





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