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Outcast # 1 2 - Robert Kirkman Paul Azaceta

Written by Arion on Monday, October 06 2014 and posted in Blog
I love horror films. I admire masters of suspense like Hitchcock and revolutionary filmmakers like George R. Romero with his unforgettable hordes of the living dead, I enjoy gore as much as the next guy, I respect Ridley Scott’s Alien and I find monsters –both old and new– enthralling. But if there is one horror subgenre that I do not like is exorcism.
Outcast # 1 2 - Robert Kirkman Paul Azaceta

Every time I make an effort and try to watch a movie about an exorcist, I get bored and I start yawning. I guess I find those movies ludicrous and unoriginal. To me, an exorcism is a bunch of superstitions held together by the faith of ignorant men and women. And I don’t find that interesting at all, not even in fiction. 

So after having said all that you’re probably wondering why did I sit down to read Robert Kirkman’s new series. After all, it is a horror comic book that centers on exorcism. Well, let’s simply say that I trust the writer’s abilities and I was sure that he wouldn’t let me down. I read the first two issues of Outcast and I must say they were good.
Outcast # 1 2 - Robert Kirkman Paul Azaceta

Probably I wasn’t particularly interested in the actual exorcism scenes, but I quickly grew fond of the rest of it. I felt the despair of Kyle, the protagonist, a depressed man who has survived after watching his loved ones being victims of demonic possession. And that’s one of the things that I find interesting about Outcast. If you think about demonic possession then you’re thinking about a victim, someone who lives with you, a beloved family member, a daughter, a son, sometimes a father, a mother, a brother or a sister. 

Being possessed by a demon is something that never happens to the protagonist of this sort of stories, the protagonist is always a participating witness, a man devoted to saving the lives of the innocent. And it is those innocents who are victims, who are possessed, who stop being a sibling or a parent to become a hollow shell temporarily inhabited by a supernatural and depraved monstrosity.   

In the first chapter “A Darkness Surrounds Him”, Kirkman introduces several characters. A reverend, Kyle’s sister and her family, and it’s the contrast between these characters that somehow highlights the miserable aspects of the protagonist’s life. And it’s a life that Kirkman builds in a way that feels honest, without exaggerations, and it’s certainly much more interesting than anything I’ve seen in an exorcism movie.

In the next chapter, “From the Shadows it Watches”, we get to see a little bit more about Kyle’s life, his past and present. There is quite a bit of intrigue regarding Kyle’s past, especially the tragic fate suffered by his mother, wife and daughter. Was he the common denominator in these devastating events? 

Although there are no horror scenes here, Kirkman doesn’t waste his pages. Instead of trying to shock the readers, the writer tries to show as much as he can about the protagonist, therefore allowing the audience to connect with Kyle. This pause is also a much needed element, so that when horror strikes back in subsequent issues the impact will be greater. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about movies or comic books, a moment of calmness before the scary scene is always necessary.

Even if I’m not Paul Azaceta’s biggest fan, I must recognize his ability to create dark and scary scenarios, his raw style adds a necessary crudeness to this tale, and the coloring by Elizabeth Breitweiser complements Azaceta’s artistic choices quite nicely. 
Outcast # 1 2 - Robert Kirkman Paul Azaceta

Me encantan las películas de terror. Admiro a maestros del suspenso como Hitchcock y a cineastas revolucionarios como George R. Romero con sus inolvidables hordas de muertos vivientes, disfruto de lo sanguinario como cualquier otro, respeto al "Alien" de Ridley Scott y considero a los monstruos –tanto viejos como nuevos– cautivadores. Pero si es que hay un subgénero del terror que no me gusta es el exorcismo.

Cada vez que hago el esfuerzo y trato de mirar una película sobre un exorcista, me aburro y empiezo a bostezar. Supongo que califico estas películas como ridículas y poco originales. Para mí, un exorcismo es un montón de supersticiones reunidas por la fe de hombres y mujeres ignorantes. Y eso no me parece para nada algo interesante, ni siquiera en la ficción.

Así que después de haber dicho todo esto probablemente estén preguntándose por qué me senté a leer la nueva serie de Robert Kirkman. Después de todo, es un cómic de terror que se centra en el exorcismo. Bueno, digamos simplemente que confío en las habilidades del escritor y estaba seguro que no quedaría decepcionado. Leí los primeros dos números de "Outcast" y debo decir que fueron buenos.

Probablemente no estuve particularmente interesado en las escenas de exorcismo, pero rápidamente quedé prendado del resto. Sentí la desesperación de Kyle, el protagonista, un hombre deprimido que ha sobrevivido después de ver a sus seres queridos convirtiéndose en víctimas de posesión demoníaca. Y esa es una de las cosas interesantes de "Outcast". Si piensan en la posesión demoníaca entonces están pensando en una víctima, alguien que vive con ustedes, un bienhadado miembro de la familia, una hija, un hijo, a veces un padre, una madre, un hermano o una hermana.
Outcast # 1 2 - Robert Kirkman Paul Azaceta

Ser poseído por el demonio es algo que nunca le pasa al protagonista de este tipo de historias, el protagonista es siempre un testigo participante, un hombre con una devoción por salvar las vidas de los inocentes. Y son estos inocentes los que son las víctimas, los poseídos, los que dejan de ser un hermano o un padre para convertirse en una cáscara vacía habitada temporalmente por una monstruosidad depravada y sobrenatural. 

En el primer capítulo “Una sombra lo rodea”, Kirkman presenta varios personajes. Un reverendo, la hermana de Kyle y su familia, y es el contraste entre estos personajes lo que de alguna manera resalta los aspectos miserable de la vida del protagonista. Y es una vida que Kirkman construye de una manera que se siente honesta, sin exageraciones, y es ciertamente mucho más interesante que cualquier cosa que haya visto en una película de exorcismo.

En el siguiente capítulo, “Desde las sombras nos mira”, podemos ver un poco más acerca de la vida de Kyle, su pasado y presente. Hay bastante intriga en relación al pasado de Kyle, especialmente el trágico destino sufrido por su madre, su esposa y su hija. ¿Él fue el común denominador en estos devastadores eventos? 

Aunque aquí no hay escenas de terror, Kirkman no desperdicia páginas. En lugar de intentar asustar a los lectores, el escritor trata de mostrar tanto como puede sobre el protagonista, permitiendo por lo tanto que la audiencia se conecte con Kyle. Esta pausa es también un elemento necesario, para que cuando el terror retorne en números subsiguientes el impacto sea mayor. No importa si estamos hablando sobre películas o cómics, un momento de calma antes de la escena de miedo siempre hace falta. 

Incluso si es que no soy un gran fan de Paul Azaceta, debo reconocer su habilidad para crear escenarios oscuros y aterradores, su estilo crudo añade una crueldad necesaria a este relato, y el coloreado de Elizabeth Breitweiser complementa muy bien las elecciones artísticas de Azaceta.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/10/outcast-1-2-robert-kirkman-paul-azaceta.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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