By Rob Jackson
The second part of Jackson’s very low-key, brooding horror tale. Issue 1 was reviewed here.
Creeping dread. Oh, that so covers what Jackson’s pulled off here. Or at least it does up to a point. Bear with me, I’ll get there.
Issue 1 saw a family hit hard times, move to California, leaving the eldest son Billy behind whilst being manipulated (possibly) by the younger son Jake, who finds religion, and gets that knowing, controlling look in his eye. There’s a sense that things are going to go wrong out in California, bad things, evil things, and it’s going to be Jake at the centre of it all.
What started out as a family soap opera into some bizarre horror thriller. Issue 1 ended up with Billy travelling with Jake to reunite with his family, but stopping off long the way into the original creepy woods…. which is where we join them here at the start of issue 2:
Yeah Billy, don’t look back. Whatever you do, just don’t look back, you might see one of those things stirring that little brother Jake seems to know a little too much about.
See…. told you not to look back….
There were hints of it last issue, but here we really start to develop into some kind of quasi-Lovecraftian world, where there are nightmarish things in the darkness, hiding underground, courted by deluded, powerful men like Jake who always seem to want more and more power.
Off to California, back to the bosom of his family, and Billy finds gainful employment in an area where everyone seems beholden in some way to his brother. Next thing we know we have Billy working in the proposed new Mission for his brother’s church, a building with history, perhaps more history than anyone except Jake is really aware of…
Yes Billy, we’re all wondering just what is so special about that cellar. You’ll find out soon enough.
So, we had soap opera, we had creepy horror, and here in issue two we’re on that whole Lovecraft kick, and there’s even a little bit of body horror stuff along the way. Seems like California is another Rob Jackson comic where you can’t quite work out which way the story will be going next.
It’s a pleasure to read these strange, raw comics, full of energy and very readable. Issue 3 will hopefully be out soon, Jackson may well turn it all into a musical number. Unlikely, but it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me too much. I’m beginning to expect the weirdly unexpected from Jackson by now.