Bone Parish #1

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Illustrator: Jonas Scharf
Colorist: Alex Guimarães
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Lee Garbett
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Review by Anelise Farris

Bone Parish #1 is the latest comic from horror mastermind Cullen Bunn. Here, we are introduced to a family who runs a drug business. But, it’s not just your average drug. This is called “The Ash,” and it is described as a “hallucinogenic made from the remains of the dead.” So, as you might imagine, it requires the whole family to pitch in: some are graverobbers; some are pharmaceutical scientists; some are dealers; and, of course, the mom, Grace, oversees the whole operation.

However, as is the case with a lot of small businesses, when it begins to turn a huge profit, the big suits become interested…offering more of an ultimatum than a fair deal.  The story in Bone Parish #1 is a solid one right from the start. We are slowly introduced to each of these family members, as we begin to learn just how popular The Ash has become. I love that it’s a big tight-knit family that clearly depends on each other—both in and outside of the business. The writing moves along at a swift pace, and it’s not often that I get a twist in a first issue that hits me in the feels. I literally felt my breath catch.

That’s not to mention the art. It is gorgeous. I’m not sure where we’re located exactly, but it seems like a town with so much mystery. And even though this first issue takes place solely during the nighttime, it almost feels like this is a town that rarely sees the sun. Throughout the issue, moody colors are juxtaposed with beautiful bits of neon. And I love that everything has a soft, surreal vibe that’s balanced by the realistic style and strong shadow-work. And that page featuring the bad drug trip? So pretty and so creepy—which is my favorite combo.

Verdict: Buy it.

Bone Parish #1 is a perfect first issue. It is succinct, cohesive, compelling, and it makes you feel for these characters right away. If you’re looking for a new supernatural mystery, this is a must read.

Anelise Farris
Anelise is an english professor with a love for old buildings, dusty tomes, black turtlenecks, and all things macabre and odd.

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