by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, FCO Plascencia and Comicraft
01. Haunt is a book that I thought I was never going to enjoy. It all came down to the concept of the book, and not the creators. When the series kicked off, it featured Robert Kirkman on scripts and Ryan Ottley on pencil duties. Later, Greg Capullo (you know, the guy currently killing it on Batman?) moved from his position as layout artist, and climbed on board as the book’s main penciller. All of this was filtered through Todd McFarlane’s inks and ideas (Haunt being a co-creation of McFarlane and Kirkman’s).
And yes, I’ll admit, it was the McFarlane thing that was throwing me off. He’s a guy that generally champions a style and story type that hews quite far from my comfort zone, and Haunt’s premise was no exception. The story (such as it was in the beginning) starred two brothers. One was a hard nailed (HARD NAILED) army secret agent spy man who was in the shit. As in, into spy stuff. The other was a priest who was disillusioned with God and quite illusioned with whores. Or maybe not whores specifically, but with the sex-company of women what he payed to bang. Anyway, the military brother dies, and becomes a ghost that when fused with his brother turns in to a creepy horror spy-op Spider-Man. Oh, and their last name is Kilgore. The Kilgore brothers.
So uh yeah. Not for me. But that’s not saying the book didn’t have an audience. It did and it does, and I sell it to them gleefully. I just never figured that it would be a book that I would ever pick up.
Whelp, that’s changed.
02. With issue #19, McFarlane decided the book needed to go elsewhere. In the back matter of the issue, he details the experience of the book shedding it’s old creative team, and his desire for things to go elsewhere so the book wasn’t just more of the same. Enter Joe Casey and Nathan Fox. These guys are THE BUSINESS. As in holy fuck this book is good. Casey, you might know from Marvel’s current Vengeance mini that is taking everyone by surprise. Or the Dark Reign: Zodiac book that he did with Fox for Marvel during that period of time. When he’s making comics, he tends to ply a touch of Kirby with a lot of pop, or a touch of pop with a lot of Kirby, depending on the flavour. Here there’s more pop than Kirby – more sex, drugs and rock and roll stylings than crazy hats and exclaimation points – but that really goes with the general territory this book has tread before. It’s keeping within the same realm of storytelling, but doing something that I can sink my teeth into a little more.
03. And of course, I love Nathan Fox’ art. The looser style, like an inkier, more florecent Paul Pope… it really does a lot for me. Granted, his style won’t be to everyone’s taste, but damn if it doesn’t just jump off the page here. Very expressive, very kinetic and when called for, quite horrific. A great choice to go with Casey for this book. The moral of this little article (if you can call this a moral?): you should check this book out, even if you wrote it off before. It’s something new and awesome, and you just might find yourself enjoying it.