Bedtime Games #1 of 4

Created by, Nick Keller

Art by, Conor Nolan

Colors by, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Letters by, John J. Hall

Reviewed by, Tom Zimm

The first issue of this 4-part mini begins by introducing the reader to 3 seniors in high school as they spend a summer day investigating a bridge near their high school. The author provides some background for each of the characters, which include parent-child issues, grief, and loss. And, within this rich and filled out origin, we are introduced to Bedtime Stories in a very personal way for our characters.

The strength of this story is how it develops empathy in the reader for the characters. The group consists of two males, Jamie and Owen, and a female, Avery. The grouping seemed odd at first glance; however, the way the characters interact with each other put me at ease.  They are comfortable around each other. They say almost anything to each other, which includes coarse jokes, laughing at each other’s minor misfortunes, and good-natured banter about academic failures. The group meets at the bridge earlier in the day and then agrees to come back at night so they don’t get caught by teachers. When the teenagers go to their homes, during the interlude, is when we learn more about the backstory of the characters.

The writer promotes interest through flashback scenes that reveal gut-wrenching experiences for two of the characters. he suffering reminds me that everyone has something to overcome. Avery’s statement, “I hate endings because endings mean new beginnings” prompted insight into the different ways people respond to loss.  Avery lives with her Aunt Maren who drinks too much and makes blunt and rude statements to her probably feeds into that belief. Later, when Jamie and Owen pick Avery up to go to the bridge, she says, “just get me out of here.” That statement felt loaded and stuck with me. The behaviors and responses of the characters to events make sense and carry weight.

The author found a clever way to connect the main characters to the mythos of Bedtime Games, which has a creepy frightening tone. Once through a flashback and again at the end of the story when Avery gets a personal message on a torn out page from a book she finds at the bottom of the bridge. I  recommend you buy the book so you can see how thoughtful these connections are made by the writer.

The art held my interest but didn’t advance my enjoyment of the book. The character’s faces are crudely drawn and the scenes were serviceable. However, the panels flowed from one to another and the colors and shades supported the emotional context of the exposition throughout.

The entertainment value came from the way the story handled emotional issues and character development. I highly recommend this layered and extremely interesting story. I rate the story a 10, the art a 7, and the overall rating an 8.5.

I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist. Comic book heroes have been a passion of mine since I was a small child. However, making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list has become a regular occurrence only…

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