Issue 1 of ‘Night of the Ghoul’ by Scott Snyder is so short, there’s no way you wouldn’t want to grab the next one immediately. The first comic in the series barely sets the plot up – a man called Forest Innman and his son Orson are visiting a sanatorium to track down a film director they believe made the ‘greatest horror film’ ever, only problem – it never made it to the screen.
The film director is called T.F Merrit, who is quite ghastly to look at and gets an entire page to himself during his first appearance. Readers get some glimpses of this horror film called “Night of the Ghoul”, which starts off during World War II and is about an ancient creature that grows stronger by feeding on the dead. The artwork is in dark tones, bringing a very classic horror vibe, with some stark tones of red standing out against black and yellow shades. In contrast, the World War II panels are in black-and-white, offering an interesting break and a clear demarcation between the past and the present, so readers aren’t confused.
While it’s hard to say anything about where the story is heading in the first issue, however the next issue (which is even shorter) builds up a little more story to this mysterious/ominous ‘ghoul’. There are two father-son plots running in this comic, one of Innman and his son trying to crack the mystery of an old lost horror film, the other is that of T.F Merrit and his father. The director claims his father was a victim of the ghoul and continues to narrate his tale, with dire warnings to Innman. So this exploration of father-son bond add a certain humane touch to what’s supposed to be a sinister story.
It’s the artwork that keeps things intriguing, because plot-wise, Snyder uses usual old horror tropes and there’s nothing too shocking or novel, at least not in the first two issues. Some of the more disturbing events to have happened in the past are simply narrated by T.F Merrit; it would’ve probably been more horrifying if Snyder had chosen to illustrate them instead. Regardless, for horror fans, it’s a comic-series worth reading. I am enjoying it so far.
It’s a 4/5 from me. The series is available on Kindle Unlimited.