With my week off from the column last week, I was able to pick up Nailbiter Volume One: There Will Be Blood by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson.
I jumped into the series with issue #23 and it was by far one of the best single issues of a comic I had read all year, inside and outside of the horror genre.
Last week also saw the release of issue #24. Before a thought crossed my mind, I went ahead and devoured the issue. That’s how excited I was.
It is not odd to enjoy an issue of the comic, but if you saw a horror movie and the first thing you saw was the big reveal of the killer, would the movie still be as good as it would have been if you had come from the beginning? The big twist is one of the staples of the horror genre and can make or break a horror film, but what about a horror comic?
I knew where the story was going, but did it take away from my enjoyment of issue #24? Absolutely not. It was a superb issue.
The art was stunning. Adam Guzowski on colors did a wonderful job taking the reader from flashback to present day with his color palates. It is also an incredibly hard job to make a room full of blood not look oversaturated, but there is two-page spread that is stunning.
Mike Henderson continues to walk the perfect line of cartooning and realism. Issue 24 contained a high amount of gore which would have looked out of place if the style had been too realistic. However, the look and feel of the characters still help keep the reader grounded and the stakes seem real.
Joshua Williamson should also be commended, not just for great dialogue and excellent storytelling. You can tell he really trusts his art team because there is plenty of dialogue, but also lets the art do an equal amount of heavy lifting in terms of the story. There were plenty of comics on the shelves the past two weeks that covered over half the art panels, and I am happy to say that this book was one of the furthest things from that.
If you picked up issue 23 or 24 on my recommendation, go back and start reading the beginning as well. You will not be disappointed. It was a fantastic and quick world build while introducing us to the story’s characters.
Nailbiter #24: Ratings: 4 out of 5
Nailbiter Vol. 1: There Will Be Blood: Ratings 5 out of 5
When not writing about horror comics, Ryan enjoys long walks on shark infested beaches or at least watching them on the screen. If you like what you read, tweet out the link to the column and use the #comicpapercuts. If you want to read more, follow Ryan and look his other comic columns and interviews over at Two Headed Nerd.