The Plot: The Must Read Horror Book of the Year (Advanced Review)
Writers: Tim Daniel & Michael Moreci
Artist: Joshua Hixson
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Vault Comics is quickly establishing itself as an amazing indie publisher with a focus on delivering the best of science fiction and fantasy. With September right around the corner, it’s time to indulge in all things horror and Vault Comics is joining the fun. Between September and December, Vault is launching a new annual horror event called Nightfall to showcase the company's love for all things spooky, scary, and dark through their comics! The Plot #1 is the focal point for the launch.
I was given an advanced reader copy from Editor-in-Chief Adrian Wassel. When I sat down to read it, right from the start the cover grabs you. Its colors are dark blue and a cool-toned red. The art depicts a man in agony becoming one with the earth via tangled plant roots. In the background, there is a big house. As a big lover of horror, this speaks to me in volumes that make me think of those classic supernatural, personalized horror.
Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci dives readers right into gruesome, paranormal murder at the hands of an earthly creature of the night. The victims are the brother and sister-in-law of protagonist Chase Blaine. None of these characters are aware of the circumstances that led to their deaths. However, how these characters react to these deaths showcases how brilliant of a writer both Daniel and Moreci are. We experience Chase stating how filled with regret he was that he wasn’t what his brother wanted him to be. The grief that is shown both through dialogue and tears feels authentic. The children Chase now has to take care of mourn for their parents and their lack of family. McKenzie and Zach react in such an accepting way. They spread their parents' ashes and recognizes that their family no longer exists. They are smart enough to understand that their Uncle Chase is a damaged person. They go so far as to say that they believe that their uncle needs them more than they do him. I am a giant fan of estranged family dynamics in horror. The one that comes to mind is The Haunting of Hill House (which is superb by the way).
The best selling part of this horror book is how even though the family dynamics are expertly written, in the background, there is always this looming terror of the Blaine family house. Chase, McKenzie, and Zach all travel to start their new lives as a family in that house. As expected, it’s incredibly unwelcoming. Hixson draws the house as this big, stand-alone entity. It’s surrounded by what looks to be skeletons of trees, bare-leaved and dead. The house is isolated from the town. The coloring scheme Boyd goes for is more grey-toned as they arrive at the Blaine house. The house is perched in the background… dark and ominous. As we approach the end of the issue, an immense cliffhanger occurs that demonstrates the true terror of this house. I was so upset about reading it because I wanted to know what this danger is. What is this supernatural house? What ties does the Blaine family have to the paranormal? What happens to [REDACTED]?
That’s how you as a reader know that a horror book is good. It gives you all the morsels of a clear atmosphere, intriguing characters, an unknowing threat, and a well-paced action sequence. It makes you want to think about what could be the secret of this house and this family. Be sure to add The Plot #1 to your pull list so you do not miss out on this must-read horror book to give off spooky season! Release Date: 9/25/19