Old Mag, the Hag, and Gurgy Tate return with three tales of horror. In Richard Corben’s Shadows of the Grave #2.
I’m not too familiar with Richard Corben’s work, but Shadows of the Grave #2, is a good title filled with stories of horror. This issue contains three new stories, and a continuation of the story about “Denaeus” from the last issue. The first story is called “A Muddy Plot,” which has Amos Stokes trying to get money from his Aunt Deanne, no matter the cost. The following story called “The Thing in the Swamp,” has Caleb Zeban return from being lost in the Okegauchee swamp, but his mind is not what it used to be. The final of the new stories called “Don’t Steal from the Dead,” follows Martin Akers, as he tracks down his Aunt Lititia’s grave to steal her jewelry, not knowing that doing so will cost him gravely.
I enjoyed these stories, as they were short, and got straight to the point. The writing is solid, as Mag the Hag and Gurgy Tate, act like show hosts, and ease us into the plot of each story. Their prophetic words do echo into each tale, and leaves you with a sense of dread. The dialogue was fine, as it quickly gets you into why these characters are doing these deeds. With the stories being so short, you don’t get much character development, other than the last story in the title. The pacing was fine as each tale wrapped up without any loose ends, but a few of the endings are quite predictable.
Richard Corben has a unique art style that makes the look of the issue eerie. Since the art in the issue doesn’t have any color, you can get the sense of darkness and tone to the story. It actually adds to the overall creepiness of the story. The layouts of the panels are great, and makes good use of the environments. Some of the characters have bulbous-like proportions, but he makes them look so realistic in some panels, it’s scary. It’s like he sculpted the characters out of clay.
Shadows of the Grave #2, is a solid collection of short stories. The stories get to the point of what it wants to tell, and ends with a fitting ending. The endings do get a bit predictable, if you watch horror films. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s kinda obvious how some stories are going to end. The art is fantastic, and makes each story look unique. If you’re a fan of horror or a fan of short stories check this little title out.
4 Gurgy Tates out of 5