Friday, October 26, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 26 -- A Review of Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft's "Severed"

Set in 1916, Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft's mini-series Severed from Image Comics is the story of a 12 year old boy named Jack Garron who, after finding out he was adopted, sets out on the road to find his real dad.  After being taken under the wing of another young drifter named Sam, Jack and his new friend's journey takes a turn for the dangerous after they cross paths with a salty traveling salesman whose outward kindness and offer of help give not hint to the razor sharp teeth hidden behind his dentures, or his taste for the flesh of young, hope-filled children. 

Much like his runs on American Vampire and Swamp Thing, Snyder's biggest strength in Shattered creating engaging characters, whether it be the rebellious Jack, the streetwise Sam, or the mysterious razor-toothed salesman.  In terms of horror, the series is a slow burn; although the first issue of the series shows precisely what happens to the salesman's victims, much of the series hinges on slowly building tension around the salesman's ultimate plan for Jack.  While the narrative structure of having the story told by a much older, one-armed Jack might lessen the tension somewhat, the question of Sam's fate, and who else might become a casualty of the salesman's hunger, helps propel the story. In terms of gore, the series is fairly under-stated, with only a couple of panels featuring anything even remotely disturbing, which definitely helps the book be more accessible to the more squeamish reader.

While Severed didn't connect with me to the same degree that Snyder's other horror comics have, I did find it to be a solid story, and would be interested in learning more about the salesman's past if Snyder ever decides to tell the tale.

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