American Gothic Press
Written & Illustrated by Jon Clark
Lettered by April Brown
Review by Nathan Ryan (@Clown_Prince52)
The best horror stories are the ones that could stand on their own without the actual “horror” element. Thin #1 accomplishes that. It sucks you in well before any horror elements ever appear. It doesn’t suck you in because it is gripping or tense from the first page. Rather, you get a view of a character that is clearly struggling. It is easy to feel for this character, but on another level it can also be easy to relate to her.
Doris is the name of this character, and her struggles are rooted in dealing with being overweight. Our introduction to her is in the very first panels as we glimpse her driving home from the grocery store and going to town on a bucket of chicken. When she arrives at her home she immediately finds a place to hide the chicken out of shame. Upon entering her home, she witnesses her husband having an affair with their accountant. It’s a heartbreaking scene as you see her husband lavishing praise on the skinny body of this CPA, combined with tears of betrayal and shame that Doris has as she flees without alerting them that she saw what happened.
That is the foundation of this book. You see Doris dive further into the hole of using food as her way of dealing with her problems. We see at times that her husband isn’t just a cheater, but someone who is verbally abusive to Doris in the most wretched ways. Unfortunately, most people can probably relate to this relationship either because they have lived through something similar or have witnessed it from afar.
As tends to happen in situations like this, a character (or person), becomes desperate and looks to find a shortcut. Well, in this instance, a shortcut finds Doris when she comes across a friend who used to struggle with her weight but now looks like a completely different person. This person sends Doris in search of a shortcut that is a way out and a path towards happiness. That path takes us to down an entirely new, frightening path.
The art in this book is certainly different and takes a bit to get used to, but ultimately works very well for this book. It is in black and white, but throws in splashes of red where appropriate that makes certain panels really pop. There are a lot of grainy lines throughout that can be distracting. However, as the story progresses the more it seems to just work for this book.
Strong Buy. This book may not be for everyone. The art will tend to bother some more than others, and this story is far from a happy tale. In fact, it is quite disturbing. However, this book will definitely stir up lots of feelings. It is $.99 on Comixology right now for a book that is 39 pages of intriguing story. For that price, there is not a great reason to not check this out.