The Waking #2 (of 4) (Zenescope – Gregory / Drujinui / Henderson / Crank!)
The investigation continues as two bodies go missing from the morgue in search of those responsible for their deaths. Meanwhile, Jonathan Raine struggles to keep his little girl imprisoned or lose her forever.
In the present comic landscape where stories of the dead returning usually either indicate panels of gore or zombie versions of beloved characters on the rampage, Raven Gregory is taking the bar of horror story-telling (not just zombie stories or tales of the undead, but the overall genre) and setting it well above the expectation. The second issue of this series fulfills the promises of a thoughtful, dramatic and scary plot line that was made with the first ish!
Issue #2 starts to open up the “why” the Waking as undead victims go out in search of their own killers as the police continue to try to put the picture together.
“The World is filled with things we can’t understand … and more that we shouldn’t, it’s safer that way” is the narrative as one of the victims from issue one slowly sits up from a table in the morgue. Freakin’ Awesome! While I have been a huge fan of his work for a while now, I think Gregory really puts himself out there and shines in this series. Hands down, some of his best work! He masterfully creates scenes that are so filled with suspense and dread that a reader who does not take the time to linger on every frame is really missing out. A careful countering of atmosphere and good story make The Waking a “can’t miss, don’t want to miss, first thing I read this week” horror comic.
Now, I could gush about Raven Gregory all I want, but the truth is he can’t get it done without the art team on the book. Vic Drujinio and Garry Henderson synthesize a visual environment where you can almost feel the fear as you go from page to page. But they balance it without it being too dark or having the horror emote so much that it blogs down the flow of the reader. What stands out visually about The Waking that makes it different from it’s Zenescope brethren is how gritty the frames are. The art does in deed follow in line with the plot as one-part horror and one-part police drama.
But don’t worry, stalwart Zene-readers, this art team has not forgot to scatter the occasion eye-candy throughout :).
The Waking is one of those exceptional books (which Zenescope seems to have quite a few of), that brings the readers in, scares the crap out of them and entertains them all within 32 pages.
Issue Grade: Easiest A of the month!
Check here for my interview with Raven Gregory back in November about the series!