Silent comics are always a challenge to read, and to review given that there are no character or location names to be used, but Bob Turner’s DTHRTL (that is Death Rattle to the non-text savvy amongst us) is definitely worth the challenge.
The basic plot from the first issue is that Death has come to take our eyeball headed hero who manages to make a pact with him that as long as he continues to win, or at least draw, with Death when playing Rock-Paper-Scissors then he can continue to live. Death, it would seem, isn’t very good at the game and is beginning to get a little annoyed.
Issue 2 begins with our hero eaten by the monster he attacked at the end of the previous episode and playing another game of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Death in the monster’s mouth which ends in stalemate and our hero jumping down the monster’s throat to get away from Death. However Death creates a portal in mid-air and pushes our hero through leading to a fast-moving series of adventures in various locations that emphasis the character’s heroism before he is finally confronted by Death again.
While there was a hint of old-style multilevel computer games in the previous issue of DTHRTL, this issue presents many pages in full-on computer games style format with our hero constantly moving from one portal on the left of the page to a second portal on the right, through various situations before once more being confronted by Death. Again Bob Turner, who is both artist and writer for this title, uses pictograms as our hero and Death converse allowing the reader to better understand the head to head confrontations – although skull to eyeball may, in this case, be a better description.
DTHRTL is a visually striking and intriguing story that challenges due to its silence but remains well worth the effort that the reader puts into it.
There are more details of DTHRTL on the Castle Rock Comics blog.
DTHRTL can be purchased from the Castle Rock Comics e-shop.
Bob Turner will be selling DTHRTL 1 and 2 at the Glasgow Comic Con in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the weekend of 2/3 July 2016.