Written by Martin Ian Smith
Art by Nicolas R. Giacondino
A one shot story published by Attackosaur Press: www.attackosaur.com
Cover price £2.99.
‘A man with a terrible secret finds a gortesque creature in the Atlantic Ocean, a being with the ability to read the thoughts of anyone who comes into contact with it. The Watchful Sea is a ghoulish tale of terror and obsession.’
The Watchful Sea is is a self contained one shot story, told in a narrated flashback by one of the fishermen, set in a 1950s Welsh fishing village and on the sea beyond that centres on a creepy catch of a humanoid creature that’s found when a fishing boat goes beyond its normal hunting ground. The creature is more than it seems and brings with it a waking nightmare.
The book is drawn and written with a masterful understanding of the visual vocabulary of what a horror comic should communicate. It has a brillaint pacing that has a still eeriness that is laid out like a memoir of narration. It has a traditional horror small town scope to it’s setting but manages to be claustrophobic at the same time. You can feel the rain lash down and the opening up of the view when the sun finally comes out. Beautiful work by Giacondino.
The art in black and white (please, never colour this comic) works perfectly and evokes memories of movies like Quatermass and the Pit, Village of the Damned and Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. All the characters are perfectly realised and Nicolas is great at translating story and mood through the framing of sequences and the looks on the faces of the players.
In an email writer Martin Ian Smith acknowledged the film work of John Carpenter and The Fog as influences and you can see this in the narrative and some of the visuals. You could certainly put a creepy Carpenter soundtrack on the book.
The book also strays into the much used technique of ‘Horror Logic’. The nature of the creature found is expalined by the resident scientist through Faux Science. We are sucked into the story by this sort of detail that is applied by the writer. It also does what well made horror should do by using the situation as a reflection on the real world. A parable of what is wrong in the more banal real world we see this at the end of the comic – I won’t spoil it but it changes certain perspectives I had of the characters. Really nicely done.
This book is really worth the cover price. The cover is a tiny bit misleading as to the interior story but this is only a small niggle.
• You can find The Watchful Sea at www.attackosaur.com
Many thanks for reading.