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The Gathering vol. 14: The Infinite Abyss - Arcadio Bolaños Acevedo

Written by Arion on Wednesday, September 12 2012 and posted in Blog

The Gathering vol. 14: The Infinite Abyss - Arcadio Bolaños Acevedo
Leonardo Gonzalez (cover / portada)
I’m very proud of this recent horror volume, not only for its high level of quality but also because this is a bit of a historical moment for me. In this issue you will find my first collaboration with artist extraordinaire Juan Alarcón. We also have a 3 page story in Romance (out on November 2012), a 6 page full color story in Tales of the Abyss (2013), GrayHaven’s first title exclusively dedicated to horror and a 5 page story in the Erotica one-shot (2013). And that’s just the beginning. I feel incredibly lucky for having found such a talented artist and every time I look at his pages I’m amazed.

But we are here to talk about the comic book I’m holding in my hands right now. Let’s start with the absolutely wonderful cover by Leonardo Gonzalez, an artist that had already impressed me in The Gathering vol. 9 (February 2012). Leonardo provides us with a detailed and careful rendering of a rotting corpse, his style is similar to masters such as Bernie Wrightson, but the design of the page resembles the covers of Attila Futaki for Severed. So yes, this is a book that you can judge by its cover.

“Prepared” written by Marc Lombardi and illustrated by cover artist Leonardo Gonzalez is a great example of humor in a world full of zombies, perhaps more akin to Zombieland than Night of the Living Dead, this is a tale of witty dialogues and great visuals. Then comes “Doppleganger” written by Tatiana Christian with art by Courtney Thomas, a most singular depiction of a parallel world in which mirrors are forbidden and secret horrors lurks in every reflected image. I hope to see more from these girls in future issues. “The Devil and Bobby Jones” is one of my personal favorites. In only 3 pages Brad Nelson creates suspense and intrigue in equal measures, when a boy’s family starts disappearing, there can only be one explanation… or perhaps more than one. The supernatural elements are greatly conveyed by Brian Defferding, an artist who has proved time and time again his capacity to come up with innovative images.

The Gathering vol. 14: The Infinite Abyss - Arcadio Bolaños Acevedo
Arcadio Bolaños (script / guión) & Juan Alarcón (art / arte)
As a fan of TV series like Dexter and films like American Psycho, I found “Portrait of a Serial Killer” both fascinating and poignant. Jason Snyder creates the same intensity one would expect from, say, Dexter, by delving into the psychology of a serial killer, I don’t know if it’s in Jason’s plans to write more stories about this character, but I’d surely like to see that. Michael Sumislaski’s pencils here are as sharp as ever. Two pages stories are hard to write, but Ray Goldfield does it wonderfully in “Bump in the Night”, which includes a very peculiar twist (which I won’t spoil) to the usual situation of kids scared of monsters under their bed. Oh, and Chris Page draws for us some creepy monsters too.

Of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to review my own story, “The Outsider”, so I’ll let our favorite British reviewer (Glenn Matchett AKA The Doctor) and also editor of GrayHaven to do the work for me: “Regular Gathering contributor Arcadio Bolaños takes a break from art duties (mostly to cram in all my dialogue for Dark, poor sod) and turns his writing talents to a story about 3 friends who discover a criminal trapped in a well. They are faced with the choice to help her or wait until she dies so they can take the money later. They make a poor choice that is sure to have horrible repercussions for them in the future. It's a lead in to a story in our upcoming Abyss ongoing and very much leaves the reader wanting more in the final panels. Revenge is a big thing in horror movies with supernatural creatures often being motivated to get their own back on those who wronged them. This story I feel perfectly taps into this genre and I can't wait for everyone to see what Arcadio and artist Juan Alarcon have up their sleeves. While on the art I think it’s spectacular and is definitely one of the best looking stories we've ever had. It draws you in early and doesn't let go and seeing it in colour in Abyss will only make it better”. THANKS Glenn, I really appreciate that!

“The Tunnel Home” by Westhoff and Ornelas has a very interesting development. A curious boy defies his mother’s orders and goes through a sinister tunnel on his way back home. What kind of horror lurks in the tunnel? And, also, what kind of threat is waiting for the boy at home? “Undead Again” by Matthew Louden (writer) and Jazel Riley (penciler / inker) presents dead people rising from their graves in a quotidian and strangely amusing context. “The Glass Eye” by writer / editor Erica Heflin and regular cover artist Amanda Rachels is a horror story that starts in a very urban setting: a young boy is picked up by his parents after an unfortunate incident with the local police. His father, an old man with a glass eye, is willing to hurt the boy so he won’t “disrespect” the family name again; but what can this man do with the kid’s defenseless body? How will he keep a (glass) eye on him? I won’t spoil the ending but let’s just say that these ladies sure know how to strike fear into the reader’s heart.

Good old Glenn Matchett does horror again in “Hospital Visit”, illustrated by George Amaru. This feels like a horror film from the opening frames. A couple of teenagers enter into an abandoned hospital, they each carry a flashlight (or torch as the British would say) and nothing else. But, of course, they’ll need so much more than that if they want to escape alive from this haunted hospital. Great job Glenn and George! And at last, but certainly not least, we have the extraordinary “Preserved”, with a script by Elena Andrews and art by David Aspmo. A 14-year-old boy is forced to give blood to his father on a regular basis, until the teenager is fed up and prepares a lethal trap for his progenitor. Elena Andrews creates quite a creepy character and provides us with a lot of tension in these 4 pages; and David Aspmo’s art is magnificent, I love his level of details, his dark atmospheres, his haunting shadows, everything he does on the page looks stunning. 
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The Gathering vol. 14: The Infinite Abyss - Arcadio Bolaños Acevedo
David Aspmo

Estoy muy orgulloso de este reciente volumen de terror, no sólo por su alto nivel de calidad sino también porque este es un momento histórico para mí. En este número, encontrarán mi primera colaboración con el extraordinario artista Juan Alarcón. También tenemos una historia de 3 páginas en Romance (que saldrá en noviembre de 2012), 6 páginas a todo color en Tales of the Abyss (2013), el primer título de GrayHaven dedicado exclusivamente al terror y una historia de 5 páginas en el especial Erótico (2013). Y eso es sólo el comienzo. Me siento increíblemente afortunado por haber encontrado un artista tan talentoso y cada vez que veo sus páginas me asombro.

Pero estamos aquí para hablar sobre el cómic que estoy sujetando en mis manos. Empecemos con la portada absolutamente maravillosa de Leonardo Gonzalez, un artista que ya me había impresionado en The Gathering vol. 9 (febrero 2012). Leonardo nos proporciona una imagen cuidadosamente detallada de un cuerpo putrefacto, su estilo es similar al de maestros como Bernie Wrightson, pero el diseño de la página se asemeja a las portadas de Attila Futaki para Severed. Así que en este caso sí se puede juzgar al libro por su portada.

“Prepared” escrito por Marc Lombardi e ilustrado por el portadista Leonardo Gonzalez  es un gran ejemplo de humor en un mundo lleno de zombis, tal vez más similar a "Zombieland" que a "Night of the Living Dead", esta es una historia de diálogos ingeniosos e imágenes grandiosas. Luego llega “Doppleganger” escrito por Tatiana Christian con arte de Courtney Thomas, en un singular enfoque de un mundo paralelo en el que los espejos están prohibidos y en donde el horror acecha en cada imagen reflejada. Espero ver más de estas chicas en futuros números. “The Devil and Bobby Jones” es, personalmente, uno de mis favoritos. En sólo 3 páginas Brad Nelson crea suspenso e intriga en iguales medidas, cuando la familia de un niño empieza a desaparecer, sólo hay una explicación... tal vez más de una. Los elementos sobrenaturales están muy bien expresados por Brian Defferding, un artista que ha demostrado una y otra vez su capacidad para innovarse. 

Como fan de series de televisión como "Dexter" y películas como "American Psycho", pienso que “Portrait of a Serial Killer” es fascinante y sugerente. Jason Snyder crea la misma intensidad que uno esperaría, digamos, en Dexter, al hurgar en la psicología de un asesino en serie. No sé si está en los planes de Jason escribir más historias sobre este personaje, pero me encantaría que así sea. Los lápices de Michael Sumislaski siguen aquí tan afilados como siempre. Las historias de dos páginas son difíciles de escribir, pero Ray Goldfield lo consigue maravillosamente en “Bump in the Night”, que incluye un peculiar giro argumental a la habitual situación de los niños que tienen miedo al monstruo de debajo de la cama. Oh, y Chris Page dibuja unos buenos monstruos.
The Gathering vol. 14: The Infinite Abyss - Arcadio Bolaños Acevedo
my sketch / homage for one of my friends (fan of Jae Lee's Dark Tower) /
mi boceto / homenaje para un amigo (fan de Dark Tower de Jae Lee)

Desde luego, no sería apropiado que reseñara mi propia historia, “The Outsider”, así que dejaré que nuestro reseñista británico favorito (Glenn Matchett alias The Doctor) y también editor de GrayHaven hago el trabajo por mí: "Arcadio Bolaños, habitual contribuyente de The Gathering, se toma una pausa de sus deberes artísticos (sobre todo para embutir todo mis diálogos para "Dark", pobre tipo) y vuelca su talento como escritor en una historia sobre 3 amigos que descubren a una criminal atrapada en un pozo. Enfrentan la opción de ayudarla o esperar a que se muera para poder llevarse el dinero. Toman una mala decisión que seguro tendrá horribles repercusiones para ellos en el futuro. Es la primera parte de una historia para nuestro nuevo título Abyss y deja al lector deseoso de ver qué sucede tras las viñetas finales. La venganza es un gran tema del cine de terror con criaturas sobrenaturales que a menudo son motivadas por el deseo de vengarse de aquellos que les hicieron una mala jugada. Siento que esta historia aborda perfectamente este género y no puedo esperar a ver lo que Arcadio y el artista Juan Alarcón tienen bajo la manga. Creo que el arte es espectacular y es definitivamente una de las historias que mejor se ve de las que hemos tenido alguna vez. Te atrapa desde el inicio y no te suelta, y ver esto en color en Abyss será incluso mejor". ¡GRACIAS Glenn!

“The Tunnel Home” de Westhoff y Ornelas se desarrolla de manera interesante. Un chico curioso desafía las órdenes de su madre y entra a un siniestro túnel camino a casa. ¿Qué clase de horror acecha en el túnel? ¿Y qué amenaza espera al muchachito en su hogar? “Undead Again” de Matthew Louden (escritor) y Jazel Riley (dibujante) presenta muertos que salen de sus tumbas en un contexto cotidiano y extrañamente divertido. “The Glass Eye” de la escritora / editora Erica Heflin and habitual portadista Amanda Rachels es una historia de terror que empieza en un escenario urbano: un jovencito es recogido por sus padres luego de un incidente con la policía local. Su padre, un viejo con un ojo de vidrio, está deseoso de hacerle daño para que no vuelva a "arruinar" el apellido familiar; pero ¿qué hará este hombre con el indefenso cuerpo del chiquillo? No arruinaré la sorpresa final, pero sólo digamos que estas famas saben cómo causar miedo en el corazón del lector.

El bueno de Glenn Matchett regresa al terror de nuevo con “Hospital Visit”, ilustrado por George Amaru.Desde las primeras viñetas, se siente como una película de terror. Un par de adolescentes entran a un hospital abandonado, lo único que tienen son linternas (o 'antorchas' en británico). Pero, por supuesto, necesitarán mucho más que eso si quieren escapar con vida de este hospital condenado. ¡Gran trabajo Glenn y George! Y finalmente, tenemos el extraordinario “Preserved”, con guión de Elena Andrews y arte de David Aspmo. Un chico de 14 años es obligado a darle sangre a su padre con frecuencia, hasta que el adolescnete se harta y prepara una letal trampa para su progenitor. Elena Andrews crea un personaje siniestro y genera mucha tensión en sus 4 páginas; y el arte de David Aspmo es magnífico, me encanta su nivel de detalles, sus atmósferas oscuras, sus sombras, todo lo que hace en la página se ve estupendo.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-gathering-vol-14-infinite-abyss.html


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About the Author - Arion


Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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