Title: Twisted Dark Volume 2
Author: Neil Gibson
Series: Twisted Dark
Genre: Horror comic
Summary (from Goodreads)
The second volume in Neil Gibson’s acclaimed series of twisted tales. Again at 200 pages, this book expands on the Twisted Universe and introduces more characters. Connections with volume one are there, but each re-reading reveals more connections and subtleties. This volume has more humour than the first volume but it certainly retains its twisted, dark theme. This is the sort of graphic novel that you show to people who think comics are for kids. Sold out at conventions, Volume 2 is currently on its third printing.
I was lucky enough to meet Neil at Comic Con and myself and my companions were soon charmed by him – enough to buy Volume 2 of his Twisted Dark comic, without having read volume 1.
Not that it really matters that I haven’t read volume 1, as I discovered.
Twisted Dark Volume 2 is a collection of short stories which are, as you can probably gather from the title, dark and twisted. Exploring the darker sides of human nature, each tale looks at a different character (with some cross over between the tales adding an extra layer of interest) and presents a story with a sting in the tail. I assume there are also some connections and links back to volume 1, but you don’t need to be able to spot them to enjoy and understand the stories.
This really appealed to my sense of humour. There were a few moments that made me almost laugh out loud – which is impressive given the general tone of the stories. It’s not meant to be comedy, as such, but there were some pretty blackly comic moments that had me giggling to myself.
The twists are excellent. I did start guessing what they would be after a while – much like anything that follows a similar formula, you begin to be able to guess where things are going. But that’s not to say it detracted from my enjoyment – when I got it right, it was satisfying, and when I didn’t it was shocking, and that was rewarding too.
The artwork was perfectly complimentary to the overall tone of the stories – black and white, lots of broken lines, lots of shadow. There were several different artists, but the strength running through the stories was the ability to portray expressions in a really clear way. There was a story focusing on someone’s smile, and the differences in the smiles were so clear from the illustration that it really showed the changing perceptions of the character narrating. Can’t really say more than that without spoiling, but it was just perfectly done. There were plenty of other close ups, and each was excellently done – often the faces were mostly obscured, giving just a mouth or eyes for us to read emotion from, but each time it was absolutely clear what those characters were thinking.
There are plenty of gross or horrific moments, so if you’re of a sensitive disposition, I wouldn’t recommend this. But if you love horror and want an excellent comic book read, I can’t recommend this enough!