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Why You Should Read 'The Writer' #1 by Josh Gad, Berkowitz Bros and Ariel Olivetti

The Writer #1 Featured Image

The Writer #1 is an Intriguing Supernatural Thrill-Ride Doubling as a Folk Horror Journey Worthy of the Terror It Evokes

From the front cover it looks like you're about to be launched head first into a Jewish inspired Lovecraftian horror tale that tears through the fabric of reality. In similar vein to John Carpenter's 'In the Mouth of Madness' or even Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman' - and, yes, I know John Carpenter isn't Jewish but indulge me for a moment. We're talking style here. The melding or, invasion of, supernatural worlds into reality as we know it - that imbue the protagonist, ordinary as he is, with a sense of destiny as he battles an oncoming storm of demonic forces.

Like 'In the Mouth of Madness' and 'The Sandman', Josh Gad and the Berkowitz Bros 'The Writer' instills this sense that, as protagonist Stan discovers the powers of Solomon's ring (gifted to him by his father), it's made clear to this reviewer the ring is a catalyst of bringing unsightly horrors like Dybbuks into Stan's life as they break through all reality. Much like the malformed demons in In the Mouth of Madness's fictional town Hobb's End or the interference of The Corinthian in The Sandman. There's an element of questioning sense of self as the walls of reality start to come crashing down. Leaving it ripe for Dybbuk conquest.

Why You Should Read 'The Writer' #1
Why You Should Read 'The Writer' #1

Despite the demonic forces at play, Nazi agents in pursuit of the ring, and a secret cabal which kidnaps Stan's daughter towards the end of the comic book - Stan adapts to his supernaturally-invaded station in life rather well. Thanks, in no small part, to his 'mom' who stabs a demonically possessed Nazi in the chest with an ancient Jewish sword. Giving rise to obvious modern-day comic book comparisons like Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora's 'Once and Future' or Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee's 'Ash & Thorn.' Both with story arcs that brazenly depict older women in positions of guide, teacher and seasoned warrior.

All of these points are thanks, in no small part, to Ariel Olivetti's artwork which looks and feels like Peter Gross's artwork throughout 'The Unwritten.' So I can easily see a logical transition as ex-pat fans of the Vertigo published series about a writer whose own reality starts to unravel the further into the mystery he gets. Just as Stan's world is certainly going to unravel as 'The Writer' storyline further evolves. Olivetti's artwork verges into the surreal with the use of plain colours to establish the real-world that is juxtaposed against the maelstrom of demonic reds and vibrant purples which signify the emergence of demons and ongoing threats to Stan's loved ones.

The downside of the comic book is when Stan develops his Golem-like powers and the dialogue of the character is reduced to Fantastic Four's The Thing-like tendencies which is a disappointing move. It felt very Josh Gad. The Writer #1 had me as a total convert up until that moment, but still I powered on as the remaining issue unveiled itself as this intriguing, supernatural-thrill-ride, that doesn't get caught up in the lore of its own belief-system but still presents a folk-horror journey worthy of the terrors it evokes.

Buy 'The Writer' #1 by Josh Gad, Berkotwitz Bros, and Ariel Olivetti

The Writer #1 - Published by Dark Horse Comics


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