Comic Book Review: “The End is Totally Nigh”

cover

When bourbon turns to blood,
and birds rain from the sky

My friend, it’s time to face the truth,
the end is surely nigh.

The End is Totally Nigh is a new indie comic book created by Kara Barrett, and distributed by Alterna. It tells the story of a girl with new-found demon fighting powers, and it seems she’s discovered her unique gift at an opportune time. Demon possessions are cropping up all over, and other strange happenings  portend a dark event looming on the horizon.  “It’s a girl-meets-apocalypse story filled with demon hordes, quippy banter and more than a few bumpy twists and turns. The End Is Totally Nigh is a comic series that centers around a girl who discovers she suddenly has an unusual ability – the power to exorcise demons. It won’t be long before she discovers her demon knack is not quite what it seems.

The End is Totally NighFrom the first few pages, Barrett wastes no time demonstrating her story-telling skills. In fact, if you’re a sucker for apocalyptic, end-of-the world stuff like I am, you’ll be hooked by the first panel. Demons and baddies abound, and in the first issue they take on the unlikeliest of forms – a room full of possessed first-graders. The little hellions manage to rack up quite a gory body count during several failed attempts at exorcism by a rag-tag team of demon hunters.

I read the first two issues of The End is Totally Nigh, and then turned around and read them again – Barrett has got the page-turning quotient cranked up to the max.  Pencil and ink are by Vinnie Rico, and the art is impeccable, as you can see in the sample gallery below. Everything looks very polished, with the exception of a couple of pages in the middle of issue 2.  There are a few panels where lines aren’t as smoothly rendered and edges have a rough, sketchy quality. This doesn’t really detract from the overall quality of the art – rather it’s an unusual anomaly that may actually be intentional – I’m still trying to decide. Lettering is provided by Rachel Deering and Ed Brisson in issue 1 and 2 respectively and, like the art, is very well done.

My one complaint so far with this series is that there’s a little too much spoon-feeding going on for my tastes. Some of the characters are such overt stereotypes that it can be a little distracting. For instance there’s a cowboy who calls himself – you guessed it – “Cowboy,” and another demon hunter named “Hero.” At the end of issue two, we’re introduced to a small town called Halesbells which, of course, has a population of 666. Comic books attract a much more sophisticated audience these days, and it’s disappointing when the writing doesn’t reflect that – especially with horror comics which tend to be geared more toward adults anyway.

Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, the story-telling is solid and the dialog is entertaining. “Witty banter” can walk a fine line between clever and annoying and Barrett does a pretty good job of staying on the right side of the tracks. The icing on the cake is the beautiful color cover art by Vinnie Rico, which you can see at the top of this review.

I’d definitely recommend The End is Totally Nigh, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Issue 1 is available as a digital download for only 99 cents, and through Wowio, Comixology and other digital comic book outlets.  Issue 2 comes out this Wednesday, August 15th (yay, comic book day!)

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

Sample Gallery
(the first is a page from issue 1, the the rest are from issue 2)


Below is a promo that was prepared for a Kickstarter campaign to fund this project. Although the campaign is long over, the video makes a cool intro to the series.

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About Dave_P

Dave_P studied fine arts and film history and is a graphic and web designer, and a diehard movie fan. David has been involved with a variety film festivals including the Cinephile Film Festival, the PRIDE Film festival, and the Manhattan Short Film festival, and is currently the director of the Dark Carnival Film Fest in Bloomington, Indiana. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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