Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Review: Bleen #4

Creator and writer: Jon A. Colunga
Illustrator: Landon Huber
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Release date: 21st October 2015 (digital)

Horror comics seem to be prevalent lately. I don't know if it's because of things like Snyder's Wytches, or if I'm simply more aware of them, but their new popularity isn't at all damaging for fans of the genre, or comics in general.

Bleen is Colunga's first personal publication and is a foray into a fantastical world of horror. It's one of those books that could of easily been overlooked and missed and it owes a lot to independent publishing. As he says in the final acknowledgements it was given a chance to be published by Alterna Comics and I, for one, am glad it did. Indie books like this are testament to the quality of stories out there that and showcases the benefits that independent comics give the whole readership.
I'm writing this review on my break during the night shift. I'm a nurse and have just played my part on effectively restarting man's heart with my bare hands. I have chosen to relax by reading Bleen and writing about it. Now this isn't about massaging my ego, it's an attempt to display the diverse appeal that comics have and how independent publishing aids that appeal. You could be an accountant, teenager living with your parents or even a high powered lawyer dressed in a luscious and crisp suit; we all have comics in common. 

Bleen #4 is the final chapter in this series. Before reading this I was unfamiliar with Bleen. I'm on Alterna's press list so every week I get a shiny review copy of a book to enjoy and review, Bleen was this weeks offering. M So I wanted to jump in at this chapter, which is far beyond my usual comfort zone of knowing every minute detail before diving in headlong, to see how I felt about it. I wasn't disappointed. The writing is smart and snappy and the artwork suitably grim. The story moves along well and it was way to come into at such a late juncture. I even felt a great empathy with Bleen at the grand finale. It's a good smashed of a book when you can come in at the final hurdle and still fall for it greatly. It's inspired me to go back and catch up with the events, which is a point in Bleen's favour. 
The art by Huber helps the story along at a good pace and is well suited to a horror comic. There's not really a panel out of place and there's some interesting layouts that drew my interest. The creature of Bleen's torment is reminiscent of Jack Skellington from 'the nightmare before Christmas' and holds quite a sinister appeal.

Overall this a good closing chapter to the story. It builds to a tense, if somewhat inevitable climax that holds your attention to the last panel. The writing is solid and complimented well by the noir artwork. The only downside for me is the misspelling of 'future' in the acknowledgments, but that's just the pedant in me playing silly buggers. Colunga hints at more to come and if this series is anything to go by, I'm excited to see what comes next.

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