Friday, January 3, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: SURFACING #2


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: B. Alex Thompson – @ApproBAT
ART: Nenad Cviticanin
COLORS: Santtos
EDITOR: John Ward and Denise Thompson
COVER/BACK COVER: Cesar Grego and Alivon Ortiz
32pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. / $1.99 digital-comic (2018; digital release date – October 31, 2018)

Rated: “M” for Mature / 17+ Only (comiXology)

Surfacing: Depth Perceptions is a four-issue science fiction and horror comic book that focuses on the drama and conflict that plays out between two friends and a mermaid at a oceanic research facility.  Before that series, there is an earlier comic book, simply entitled Surfacing, which is also published by Approbation Comics

Surfacing is a three-issue comic book miniseries, and it is written by Approbation Comics' mastermind B. Alex Thompson.  Surfacing is a horror anthology, with each issue apparently offering a different story based on a similar theme – a violent encounter with a mermaid-like creature.  Like Surfacing: Depth Perceptions, Surfacing is written by B. Alex Thompson; drawn by Nenad Cviticanin; colored by Santtos; and lettered by Krugos, with gorgeous cover art drawn by Cesar Grego and Alivon Ortiz.

Surfacing #2 opens on a rural highway in the state of Michigan, circa 1970s.  A young woman named Daisy is hitchhiking when she hops a ride with four friends:  Mary and her boyfriend, Justin, and Mary's best friend, Lisa, and Justin's best friend, Bobby.  The quintet stops at a small gas station and grocery store, where the elderly proprietor warns them against going “upriver,” where these young people plan to enjoy some swimming.  Of course, they ignore him; of course, they suffer dearly for it.

I did not know what to expect of Surfacing, especially after I so enjoyed Surfacing: Depth Perceptions.  It turned out that I thoroughly enjoyed Surfacing #2, which reminds me of dark fantasy anthology series like the classic  “The Twilight Zone” (1959 to 1964) and the 1980s “Tales from the Darkside.”  Damn, once again, B. Alex Thompson, one of my “Top 5” comic book writers, kills it.  I had a blast reading this comic book.  In fact, I think Thompson would have made a better choice than Stephen King's brat, Joe Hill, to write TNT's planned “Tales from the Darkside” reboot, which ultimately went nowhere, of course.

Once again, artist Nenad Cviticanin delivers lovely art and excellent storytelling.  Cviticanin's clean drawing style seamlessly moves from character interplay to kinetic action to horror fully realized.  This is like a teen slasher movie with a sprinkle of the classic film, Jaws.  The coloring by Santtos is equally smooth, but also consistent.  Every page, regardless of the action, has the same color scheme, which helps the transition from the tension of slow boil to blood-letting intensity creep up on the reader.

As they did for Surfacing: Depth Perception, artists Cesar Grego and Alivon Ortiz draw fantastic cover art for Surfacing.  The front cover offers a striking layout design, and the back cover art captures the fun of summer, but drops in the premonition of summer camp doom.

Yes, I'm going there:  Surfacing rises to the top!

9 out of 10

Buy Surfacing #2 at comiXology.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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