Reviews: Proctor Valley Road #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Grant Morrison and Alex Child
Artist: Naomi Franquiz
Colorist: Tamara Bonvillain
Letters: Jim Campbell
Reviewer: Tony Farina
August, Rylee, Cora & Jennie have organized a Ghost Tour with their classmates on the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America to fund attending the concert of their dreams. But when their visit turns deadly, these four friends race to rescue the missing students…before the town tears them limb from limb. Now they must slay the evils roaming Proctor Valley Road…along with the monsters lurking in the hearts of 1970s America.
Proctor Valley Road #1 is fast and fun. I am not sure how much of this was Grant Morrison and how much of this was Alex Child, but I think the combination of two really click. The four female leads in this are so interesting. Horror stories are best served when the human plot is simple. Kids go camping or kids go swimming or in this case they need money for tickets to a Janis Joplin show. It is so smart. It sets them in a specific time and they have a motivation. We learn a lot about them in small, naturalistic dialogue between them and their friends. The adults are silly, just as they should be in a story like this. It is really a perfect way to introduce the world without having everyone’s least favorite superhero, Exposition Man, show up. Bravo.
I really think that letter Jim Campbell, who is always great by the way, deserves some extra love in this issue. There are a lot of snarky asides and the way he fades those out so the readers 100 percent knows we are in on the joke, while the rest of the people in the panel are not. It is brilliant. There is an example below. Check it out.
The Scooby-Doo vibe may turn some people off. The odd juxtaposition between what is pretty serious subject matter with a lot of blood and swearing, with some light, bright and almost cartoonish art, is bound to feel jarring to some.
Proctor Valley Road #1 may not have a lot of legs. It is a really great idea what should, hopefully, be a short story. I find the banter between the characters to be the best thing about this book and so, a funny, scary, character driven horror comic is just up my alley. There is a lot to like here and I am excited to see where it goes.