Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Redlands' #5 by Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa R. Del Rey

'Redlands' returns this month with another terrifying chapter that reaches new levels of horror rooted in the words of a child.


REDLANDS #5

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 20, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Jordie Bellaire plays by her own rules. 'Redlands' doesn't follow a strict narrative. Instead, the storytelling is very fluid where anything can happen to anyone at any time and best of all - it's all intoxicating. The most important issue you're reading is whichever one is currently in your hands. I'm sure there's an arc in there somewhere but so far each issue is great on its own terms. 

The pieces to a larger picture begin to take shape through Bridget's story. When we last saw her she was showing Casper the dead body of a missing woman named Nancy Montgomery. She had been searching through the police archives looking through missing person reports. She seemed rather obsessed with finding her last known whereabouts. Casper seemed curious enough to help her and drive out to Laurent's place but they stopped along the way where Bridget would lead him to Nancy's body. The reason why is explored here and the way Bellaire constructs the history of Nancy is ultimately devastating. 

The award-winning colorist is also a fearless writer. 'Redlands' has been at times a little confusing because there seems to be a disconnect from one issue to the next. With new characters being introduced and a slow-to-develop-plot, the comic can feel like an anthology instead of a serial. However, Bellaire has an ear for dialogue and finds a way to make any scene totally captivating regardless of what's going on outside of that moment. Whether it's a "mother" reading a totally inappropriate novel to a child as a bedtime story or a never-before-seen character impersonate a young woman to garner the trust of a rapey trucker, Bellaire has a deliberate style that gives weight to any scene. This is something that evades most writers and she's done it consistently in this series. 

Vanesa Del Rey's scratchy drawings are the perfect vessel to see Bellaire's Floridian gothic tale. The art invokes an eerie menace that supports the script with naked vulnerability (in the literal sense as well) and matter-of-fact violence and gore. The character designs feel derived from the real world, all shapes, and colors, sharing this space where witches reign but a new force is about to shake things up. This is the stuff of nightmares but probably none more frightening than Nancy's journal entries that close out the issue. 

'Redlands' is the type of terrifying comic that operates on its own terms, immersing the reader in fiendish situations as it sees fit. Bellaire and Del Rey have conjured up a cauldron of black magic, sex, and violence. However, it's the description of a child's sexual exploitation that will make your skin crawl as the all-too-real narrative invades the story. 'Redlands' is unflinching, unnerving, and completely unpredictable. It shakes one's previously held beliefs or assumptions about witches, horror, and comics. 

Review by Enrique Rea

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…