THE NIGHTMARE SKETCHBOOK
Writer: Vincent V. Cava
Penciller: Moacir Muniz
Designer/Colorist/Post-Production: Felippe Kroll
The Nightmare Sketchbook is an incredibly beautiful horror comic I had the chance to received lately.
When I get asked to review indie comics, I always try and make some research beforehand to see if I am the right fit as a reviewer for a comic (in order to review a comic, I actually need to want to read it first, right?). So I went over the creator’s website and fell completely in love with the visuals. Beautiful illustrations that I encourage you to discover too here: https://felipekroll.com/thenightmaresketchbook
Now, for the story.
The Nightmare Sketchbook is, in my opinion, an exciting concept. It portrays the story of a character called “The Illustrator”, a mystical entity that has the capacity to illustrates major events of history before they even happened. He might be seen as an observer, some others say he is a harbinger of death and suffering. One thing is certain: you do not wish to cross his path as it usually means terrible things are about to happen.
This first number is shared as a part of the illustrator sketchbook. We then follow the dark adventure of a sorcerer obsessed in summoning a demon who can help him find great wealth. But summoning demons is a dangerous game and can lead to dangerous adventures… And so the illustrator watch as the sorcerer plays with fire.
From the beginning to the end of this number, we witness the ritual for the evocation. We witness the Karcist (the sorcerer) as he struggles to be heard and respected by the demons.
The art is spectacular, really dark, and highly artistic. It might not be for everyone, but it was my absolute favorite thing about this book. You know how sometimes art speaks to you on a deeper level? Well… that’s what happen to me for this comic. It really brings a creepiness to the story, a dark fog around the words, and a perfectly heavy atmosphere.
I need to talk for a minute about the making of these illustrations since, as I said, they are my absolute favorite thing about this book. I was surprised to hear the illustrations were only partly made traditionally. There’s a realness to it that really made me think they were paintings. As Felipe explained to me, the comic pages were drawn traditionally (pen and paper) by the amazing artist Moacir Muniz. Then, Felipe added the color (imitating oil paintings) and post-production on Photoshop. Isn’t it crazy what we can do now with technology? Breathtaking!
The combination of the explanatory introduction, the incredible art, and the simple, yet effective dialogues, gives you a completely wonderful universe and was able to capture my entire focus.
Now you know me. I love Independent Comics more than anything. The Nightmare Sketchbook has this… creativity, hard work, and just a beautiful authenticity to it that I enjoyed. I recommend looking for it if you are craving to discover something different and… darkly magical.
I will leave you on this video trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em1kQwmJipM
Let me know what you think!