Review: Echoes #3 (of 5)
WRITER/CREATOR: Joshua Hale Fialkov
ARTIST: Rashan Ekedal
LETTERS: Troy Peteri
COVER: Rashan Ekedal & Eko Puteh of IFS
PUBLISHER: Minotaur Press (Top Cow Productions/Image Comics)
RELEASE DATE: March 9th, 2011
Brian Cohn is a schizophrenic, a man reliant upon his medication to keep him functioning correctly in the eyes of normal society. He is also a man who has just held his father's hand as he passed on and has a baby on the way -- enough stress to make anyone a little crazy. But even worse, Brian may also have a penchant for his father's secret hobby -- killing little girls and making dolls out of them!
Welcome to Echoes, a haunting and engrossing tale that leaves you questioning just what is real and what goes on in the dark recesses of the human mind. Are the voices we hear written off as just our conscience guiding us along life's path or is there something more sinister scratching at the door of sanity, something waiting to take us down a road we would have never ventured down before?
Fialkov's second act has us guessing at what is exactly going on in Brian's head and that of Detective Robert Neville's as well. Something just doesn't jive between the detective and his oddly "buddy buddy" repertoire with Brian. Is he just trying to get close to the suspect to retrieve information or does he have a more wicked plan in store for Brian? Either way, Brian doesn't seem to be coping very well and that just may bring his down fall.
As a horror book, this one is not a shocker nor a gore covered T&A extravaganza. This book has way more class than that. It is a compelling look at a man with a troubled mind that may or may not be a child murderer. It is creepy in it's subtlety, a completely engrossing tale that leads you down into the depths of a man's psychosis and doesn't want to let you go. Ekedal's art slowly encompasses your senses, making you feel eerily surrounded by voices of the past and bodies of the dead. I have never seen an artist convey a person's entire sordid past in one splash page while having the main character focused on in the foreground. Not one word is uttered about Brian's horrific past, but we all know it due to that amazing page from the first issue. In issue three we see more of Ekedal's perfect page composition as Brian and Detective Neville visit the home of another suspect. As Det. Neville speaks to the suspects mother, Brian seems to be fading out of the page, sliding into the comfort of his own mind, retreating himself out of the conversation. It is executed flawlessly and is an amazing juxtaposition to any other horror book out there. Ekedal truly uses the whole page, foreground and background, to build upon Fialkov's story, creating a richer one in the process.
This is a smart book with amazing page set-ups. The story seeps into you, filling up your senses until you are thoroughly engrossed within the tale. It scuttles through your brain like rats behind warehouse walls, leaving tiny footprints that will never truly wash away. So sit down and lose yourself in one of the best horror books out there. Just remember that you can leave at any time by just closing the book -- if the girls let you!