Scary stories have always swirled around the human imagination since we were marking on the cave walls. There is something about the darkness, the unknown that makes our minds want to create these ideas of monsters lurking, waiting for us. Or, maybe these ideas come from somewhere real, some sort of evolutionary knowledge that has been passed down through the generations. Whatever the case may be, this style of storytelling has captivated listeners, readers, and viewers for as long as we could communicate. For example, in Western culture our collective mood and tastes shift from the “normal” to the scary when October rears it’s head. In The Hunt #1 there is something lurking in the shadows, and it’s up to you to figure it out.
Writer and artist Colin Lorimer presents us with an all too familiar tragedy, the loss of a parent. Though this is a very played out trope we see in both comics and animated movies, Colin Lorimer wraps this tragedy into a nice mystery. You’re not sure of the why, but as you read The Hunt #1 he brings you right into the unease the main protagonist, Orla. feels. Colin also does something pretty fun with his writing, in the story the characters are in Ireland, and even the character’s speech patterns sound like an Irishman or woman is speaking to you. This added a layer of realism to the story, while also making us feel as if we’re actually in Ireland.
As the story moves along you’re given bread crumb sized pieces of information to help you figure out what is going on. Along with teasing out the larger plot, there is plenty of suspense that keeps you both aware of the genre you’re reading and actively looking to figure out what is going on. Lorimer illustrates The Hunt #1 with a style reminiscent of old horror movie that I’ve always enjoyed, Psycho. He knows when to put in enough detail in the environment as well as when to leave out detail so your mind is left having to deal with that lack of visual information. For example the panels in the first few pages are dark, lacking of detail, and full of shadows. It makes you feel like you’re in a distant memory that you’re trying to remember.
This lack of information causes you to add in your own information, which in turn is influenced by what you read. This method of using detail is amazing, and enjoyable. In many instances illustrators will put in a ton of detail especially in horror comics, without realizing that if you hold back, it can have a greater impact. This method is used in movies as a means of placing tension in the right scenes to bring out the desired results from the viewer. Here, Colin uses a similar method employed by horror movie masters. Instead of having scenes where the audience isn’t given all of the visual information, he makes you have to mentality fill in the blanks. It does a good job of creating tension. He also keeps the details to a minimum to raise tension. One thing I wished that Colin Lorimer would have done is use even less detail in certain parts of this issue as a means to highlight Orlas’ detachment from world around her.
Colorist Joana Lafuente takes the illustration before her and adds in layers of depth. For example in school even though it’s daylight, there is this sort of shadowing surrounding the story. Where it’s supposed to be bright, it has a slight greyness to it. It’s as if she is toning down what is supposed to be normal. At night the use of black and darker colors is used as a means to set up the mood of the protagonist Orla. Within the writing you can get an idea of what she’s feeling, but with Joana Lafuente’s coloring you are able to visualize her emotions in a deeper way. Though the greater use of blue, and grey tinting could have worked better, Lafuente’s colors were done pretty well.
In The Hunt #1 you’re given the begining of a tension filled, scary story. Unlike many other comics both Colin Lorimer and Joana Lafuente work hard and know when to use a lot of detail, and when to hold back. This forces the reader to fill in the blanks, which in turn draws you even deeper into the story. I wish that they both used these techniques a bit more because it was a pleasant surprise to see them execute it as well as they both have.
- Wonderful use of Irish accents
- The illustration and coloring used fun tenison building methods
- Not enough use of detail technique to build tension
- More blue and grey tint could have set the mood better