Surely you have seen this before: A distant family member leaves their relative property as an inheritance, and usually there is some sort of curse, haunting, monsters, aliens, or buried treasure that comes with the place. Now imagine a story where all of those elements are at play and that’s the premise of I Hate This Place.
Issue one of I Hate This Place introduces us to Gabby and Trudy as they make their way out to the ranch that Gabby’s aunt has left her. Neither of the two women has experience running a ranch. However, they are willing to embrace the change, at least until they can sell off the current herd of cattle. Of course, life has different plans for them. Even before they arrive at the ranch, the locals issue warnings about the weird things that seem to happen there. Once they arrive, things seem normal, but it doesn’t take long for that to change.
Kyle Starks is a veteran comicbook writer; however, this is his first foray into horror. With both Gabby and Trudy, Starks creates characters that are relatable and engaging. From the beginning, their personalities jump off the page. Additionally, Starks does a nice job of balancing all of the sheer chaos that unfolds at the ranch; in another writer’s hands, it could come across as too busy.
While technically a horror story, Starks’ writing will not make anyone lose sleep. Well, unless maybe you have recently inherited a cattle farm from an aunt. Similarly, Artyon Topilin’s art is not nightmare-inducing, and they nicely contrast the supernatural and the more realistic elements. Plus, Lee Loughridge helps to create distinct breaks in the storytelling with his color variety.
In short, the creative team behind I Hate This Place is firing on all cylinders. Instead of saying I hate this place, readers will be yelling I love this book.