Here and There.
Written by Chris Sides - www.chrissideswriter.com
(CLOSE, IMPOSSIBLE, DARK MATTER, WHISPERING SANDS)
Art by Adam Jakes - www.instagram.com/adam_jakes_comic_art
(COGNITION, KA, WHATEVER, THE CHAOS OF FLOYD)
Coloured by Aljosa Tomic - www.voidexperiment.portfoliobox.me
(VEIL, PENDRAGON, JOSHUA BLACK, BLOODFELLAS)
Edited / lettered / designed by Ken Reynolds - www.kenreynolds.co.uk
(COGNITION, CLOSE, IN TROUBLE, SLICED QUARTERLY)
52 page one-shot - Full Colour.
The Story - ‘Eric Jacobs is a damaged man. With his body in a coma, he unwittingly ekes out an existence in an inescapable dream-state where he’s hunted by wave after wave of monstrous creatures. But with a cryptic message from ‘the outside’, Eric’s time is starting to run out... ‘
The Preview - I’m always reminding myself what a lucky position I’m in as someone people send their new comics to for review/preview purposes. Firstly I get some great comics to read and secondly I also get to connect on a creative level with artists, writers and editors who are passionate about telling stories. That’s what we are all about isn’t it? We are a hobby/industry/pastime/medium all about communication of a story. This is done in all manner of shapes and styles.
I’ve known the writer of Here and There for some years now. Mr Sides is a thoughtful guy who produces in my opinion some of the best stories out there. They are always original and show a flash of otherworldlyness that set him apart from many of the other writers out there in our comics world.
This book is exhibit one in why I think Mr Sides is one to watch.
(I am legally obliged at this point to say that this is the same man who once got a T-Shirt printed that read ‘Shut Up Tony’ - I still have photos!)
From page one of the sixteen page preview I was sent you can tell that this has some deftly carried out pacing and sets up a story with sinister style. A man is running away from an animated misshapen cadaver with a bandaged face and exposed lipless teeth. He runs into a house and pulls a kitchen knife on the creature. But to his surprise this ghoul speaks to him, reminds him of crimes and mistakes he has made before our hero in angered desperation stabs it back to beyond the grave. A breathlessly fast paced opening is excellently handled by all of the creative team.
Appearances in the comics and stories by Mr Sides are always deceiving but this was maybe just a part of a dream? Could the reality of life in a world abandoned by hope be much better?
The art is by Adam Jakes and the colours are by Aljosa Tomic and they are easily worthy of an Image book and the close kept and tight angles of each panel that are shown front and centre in the bleak light easily disturbed this reader. A good horror has you turning and looking for the exit, this had be scanning for an escape route for the characters throughout my read.
Our hero Eric and his travelling companion walk into an abandoned town looking for food. You can feel the tense atmosphere which is literally cut with a knife when more ghouls appear. I’ll leave you to pledge to see where this heads next.
I get the feeling that absolutely nothing is what it seems in this tale. It may be too early to judge but it seems to speak as much to the psychology of death and loss as it does to stabbing ghouls in a post apocalyptic survivalist fiction. Eric is tortured by his past, a past that might just be more real now than he suspects. The echoes of our past live as long as we remember them? Are our dreams the only true reality in a world that flashes by us without a nod or pause?
It also has a Double Decker Bus as the residence of choice! What’s not to love about that!
A big shout is also due to that Cheery on the Awesome Cake Mr Ken Reynolds who letters and edits this gem along with some cracking design work.
This project is currently running on Kickstarter and doing extremely well. There are a number of pledge levels.
Digital rewards - ranging from a £2 no-frills package to £5 one-shot bundles to £10
Back catalogue bundles, including a 3 month subscription to the Comichaus app.
Print rewards - printed copies from £8, an art print package for £12, a mixed print and digital package for £20 AND a print back catalogue package for £35.
Art rewards - HERE & THERE artist Adam Jakes has 10 commission slots open for £55 AND the original cover artwork is available for £250.
Find the Kickstarter here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrissideswriter/here-and-there-a-psychological-horror-one-shot-com
Many thanks for reading.