Twisted Dark Volume 1 and 2: World Tour of Terror

October 28th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

At this year’s New York Comic Con, I was walking through Artist Alley, not sure where I was going but yet on my way, and I was stopped in front of one of the booths. Someone at the booth had noticed my press pass tag and asked me if I’d like to check out his comic. Not an unheard of thing at Comic Con by any means, but rather than hand me a 22-page issue of something, he gave me two thick-ass full trades! For free!

Now, to be perfectly honest, if he had just given me an issue of something, I would have gotten to it eventually. But the fact that he gave me 400 pages of material no questions asked, I felt I kind of had to look through it sooner than later. I mean, that’s some kind of moxie right there.

The books in question are the first two volumes of Twisted Dark, written by new writer and self-publisher Neil Gibson.

The back cover didn’t give me any details on what I was about to experience. No description of the book, but a series of reviewer quotes. Well, I’m still going to read it anyway, so let’s have at it.

The opening story Suicide with art by Atula Siriwardane wasn’t so much a story as it was a prologue. The four pages lead to a punchline of sorts that may make you laugh or smirk ever so slightly, but you’re going to question yourself for doing so because it’s pretty messed up. If this whole book was about this character, it would be a fantastic introduction. Instead, this is an anthology of stories and what we have is a fantastic introduction to the tone of Twisted Dark.

I hadn’t even grasped the full idea of what this book is about yet as I read the next story Routine with Caspar Wijngaard on art. Taking place in Norway during the 50’s, a man sends his son out hunting and becomes disturbed when he doesn’t come home at night and goes on a one-man search. It’s a pretty solid short story and came off better with me not yet realizing what kind of theme this book had going.

Twisted Dark is made up of eleven short stories in all, with the additional art talent of Heru Prasetyo Djalal, Jan Wijngaard, Ant Mercer and Dan West. The anthology series is best compared to the Twilight Zone, though mostly in the sense that the stories tend to end with some kind of twist. The difference is that Twilight Zone regularly dealt with the supernatural and science fiction, while Gibson uses none of that. Well, okay, there is a story in there that introduces a technology that doesn’t exist, but it’s not something completely unbelievable. By staying away from the beyond, Twisted Dark lets the grounded humans do the talking. The hooks are more cerebral than anything else, putting certain character flaws under a microscope and watching them develop (sometimes over years) into something truly damaging and disturbing.

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