Chapter 1: Candy From Strangers
Story by Richard T. Wilson
Art by Stephen Mullan
This graphic novel/comic book was much more than I expected. It was indeed a thrill to read. I swept through it in a matter of minutes. The storyline has two parts—an overall plot and then the sub-plots of each chapter or volume. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, let’s discuss a few key people and phrases.
At the center of everything, we have Charlotte, our main character. There are certain things about Charlotte that make her special. She can be visible to others or she can choose to be unseen. I’m not going to speculate too much as to how she is able to do this. I have my own theories but, I don’t want to ruin the story for you. Charlotte has a friend named Poe. Poe is like Charlotte. Together, they are looking into a specific group driven by evil.
Next, we are introduced to this group which is referred to as “the Hollow”. This is a group of evil-doers of sorts, taking the lives of the innocent wherever they go. These are not your typical bad guys either, just so you know.
Here is the point where we get to what is called “the In-Between”. This is some kind of alternate place of reality or plane of existence in which Charlotte can see things. She can see truths, clues to her investigation into the Hollow, and more.
And in this issue, we have Billy. Billy is a nice young boy who seems to be having a rough time being a kid. It’s Halloween and a group of kids is bullying him and pestering him about his Halloween costume. Billy is the stereotypical bullied youngster. His mother assures him that bullies do not change over time or as they get older. That’s all you’ll get from me on Billy.
In this chapter, Billy’s and Charlotte’s paths meet. And as with a lot of things, that’s where the real story begins.
This first issue is fantastic. It is much more than a simple introductory issue. The first few pages really grab the reader’s curiosity, making them want to know what is really going on. The story has action and suspense throughout the whole issue. And while there is a quick burst of horror at a certain point, it is surely nothing to just breeze over.
The black and white color scheme mixed with the story gives the comic a vintage film noir kind of feel. To me, and I might be showing my age here, it’s very reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow. Very Stephen King-esque. This issue is so skillfully done that even things like glowing eyes were not only obvious but also very wicked looking. I point this out because this allows for the art to tell parts of the story without it having to be spelled out in the written content of the volume. The dialogue of the characters is fairly natural flowing and does not come off as forced or fake, nor is it choppy or corny. This story certainly seems to be a curious one that will soon be overflowing with twists and turns. Keeping the reader engaged this comic is creepy and suspenseful in the best of ways.