Writers: Jennifer Young and Brian Buccellato
Art: Matias Bergara
Colours: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
With the spate of Southern titles that have hit the shelves in recent years, there’s a definite swing towards gritty, grimy, heat and dust caked storylines that reveal something of a soft white underbelly, waiting quietly for the butcher’s knife before spewing forth the unappealing, the rarely seen, and the outright disgusting. Where Image’s own title Southern Bastards achieves this effortlessly, Cannibal appears to focus on an actual and metaphorical rift between elements within the American population in a similar vein to another current title, Redneck. Where that particular title centers around a family of vampires living in rural Texas, Cannibal takes a new look at the age old theme of a zombie breakout. So, have they succeeded or at least taken the genre somewhere new?
Bergara’s (Sons of Anarchy, American Vampire) art style is rich, dark and noirish, like a great pinot noir, and when married with a slow build up to savage horror, means the frames develop almost like a Hitchcock film. I loved this aspect of the storytelling as it felt like it was very purposefully unfolding with the intention of creating maximum shock. Take the sequence of the passenger in a car, slowly eyeing up his girlfriend – Bergara teasing with a shot of her uncovered thighs – only for the man’s true intentions to come bursting out of the next frame. It’s clever stuff! This is matched by the dark reds and browns of the colouring. And although the art isn’t an over-realistic style, it all adds to the urgency and grittiness of the action.
The Overall feel is reminiscent of the horror comics of the eighties. Indeed, there is more than a tip of the hat towards the cannibal films of the seventies too. The difference is that rather than a focus on mythical, savage behaviours of tribes in hard to reach places, we are forced to find the monsters amongst us. Lettering is equally as urgent as the plot and text placement aides the speed of the read. The biggest draw, however, may be the ingrained idea that there are individuals amongst us who are living in a state of stark opposition; that it’s as if the whole of society could tear eachother apart. There’s a real sense of fear here. The infected look like us, act like us, speak like us. The only difference is their secret urges that can destroy lives. This issue needed little explanation, in terms of aiding new readers, and additionally, didn’t leave us on a cliffhanger as such, but instead, we are forced to look on because something deep inside us wants to know what to do…
Thank you for reading our review of Cannibal #6. We here at the Chico Comics Page appreciate your viewership. We invite you to come back soon as we post regularly or follow us on Facebook (The Chico Comics Page) and/or Twitter (@ChicoComicsPage) for regular updates on all of our posts.
Review written by Arun S.