“The Nice House on The Lake” – Book Six
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray
WARNING – This review contains spoilers for issues #1-#5 of the series. If you haven’t read them yet, PLEASE DO SO!
The Nice House On The Lake #6 marks the mid-point of a story that has become one of the greatest, most innovative horror comics of the last decade. This series provided more twists and turns than a sack-full of venomous snakes, and ten times the terror.
Not only has this title knocked the notion of “Be careful what you wish for” on its behind, it’s also delivered mind-bending, stomach churning, psychological terror, along with some of the most stunning, unique, and original visuals. This creative team has re-defined what the term collaboration means, as the relationship between writer, artists and letterer has become a symbiosis of thought, imagination, and the ultimate realization of both.
The thought of a state of the art home, set in an idyllic location, stocked with all the best food, vintage movies and TV shows, all your favorite books, music, comics, toys, and games is surely everyone’s idea of heaven on Earth. All of that perfectly describes what I envision for my retirement years. James Tynion has turned that imagined paradise into the ultimate hell.
Most horror dwells on impending doom and violent death, once again this incredible series has taken that away. The quest for eternal life has been a staple of fiction for millennia, but The Nice House On The Lake has shown us that this goal is definitely a flawed one, particularly if forever means solitude. I may want to live forever if that eternity includes my loved ones, but if everyone you love is dead and all you have with you is a gathering of random strangers – that someone else picked – then eternal life could feel a lot more like eternal damnation.
This series is gorgeous. Line artist Álvaro Martínez Bueno, color artist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Deron Bennett have produced unique and beautiful visuals. We have realistic people in situations that appear mundane on the surface, but hide horror beyond imagining. Then we get a color palette that balances the line between real and psychedelic, followed by pages of pure text; transcripts, messenger chats, emails, shopping lists, and more, that help tell the story in brand new ways.
I had the honor and privilege of meeting James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno this weekend at the incredible UK Thought Bubble comics convention, and their insights and talent are just incredible. Keep watching DC Comics News for the interview.
Last week’s reveal of a second house, and its occupant, has thrown another spanner in the works. Reggie is a brand new variable, and his close ties to Walter, his deeper knowledge and understanding of just what’s going on, and the fact that he has given the survivors new hope has both lifted my spirits, and simultaneously placed a knot in my stomach. I’ve already explained how successfully this series turns convention on its head, so I’m actually thinking that this messenger of hope could actually turn out to be a harbinger of doom.
This series is slowly killing me… and I love it.
The wait for issue #7 is going to be torture.
The Nice House On The Lake #6 closes the first volume of this tale brilliantly. The fact that volume 2 has been confirmed to begin in Spring 2022 fills me with joy (and dread), and a book collecting the first six issues is imminent. Yes, I’ve read and reviewed them digitally, yes, I’ve bought every individual floppy… and, of course, I’ll also be picking up the collected edition too.
Please read this series. It will will your soul with beautiful nightmares.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment