Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Straitjacket" TPB Review

"Straitjacket" from Amigo Comics -

     **Since I reviewed the first issue of this comic last year, I'll use the same synopsis:

    At age twelve, Alexandra Wagner committed one of the most grizzly crimes imaginable: she cut her twin brother to pieces in a bizarre, gory ritual in her parents' home while they were out for the evening. She has passed the last fifteen years in the care of psychiatric hospitals. Her reasoning: there are things lurking in the darkness in our world, things most people don't see, things that must be destroyed. She killed her brother to send his soul on the OTHERSIDE so that he could aid her in the fight in that horrible realm - she believes that he guards her and communicates with her constantly. Her doctors have tried everything, but she remains ever-defiant, ever-confident that her delusions are the true, and that something is coming for us all. Now, Dr. Thomas Hayes, a wunderkind psychiatrist, is ready to take a shot at helping Alexandra overcome her fantasies of invaders from a darker realm. The chemistry between them is instantly great; even Alex's dead brother loves Dr. Hayes. Bolstered by their newfound bond, Dr. Hayes has high hopes that he can rid Alexandra of her delusions...But Alexandra has her own plans. And Dr. Thomas has demons of his own. Who will help whom to rid the other of their delusions of what reality truly is?

    Last year, I said that El Torres had written "a stellar, gripping first issue that looked to be the beginnings of a modern comics masterpiece of horror." I am happy to say that I was absolutely NOT wrong. I said that Alexandra Wagner, the protagonist, was scarily captivating - and to my utter joy and surprise, she only became more so chapter after chilling chapter. As we delve deeper into her sanity, or lack thereof, layer after layer of the story also unfolds simultaneously, including the reasons behind the way she butchered her brother, and the role he still plays in her life, and in our reality. The dialogue in this story is profound, rich in psychology, and psychotherapy; this is a supremely intelligent supernatural horror/mystery tale which asks the reader difficult questions about the nature of consciousness and reality, all the while providing the reader with enough gore, and thrills to keep it firmly inside its chosen genre. If this all weren't enough, panel after panel Guillermo Sanna terrorizes us, giving us artwork that is as gory and nightmarish as it is expressive. If you love great, creepy, spine-tingling horror, then "Straightjacket" is a MUST-READ for you.

    This is without a doubt one of the most riveting, incredibly well-executed horror comics that I have ever read. Keep your eye on Amigo Comics!


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  1. Missed out on the TPB as well...Damn, woe is me :(
    I'll see if i can pick it up later of the 'bay.