Writer: Dirk Manning
Artists: Jeff Wellborn, Len O’Grady, Jason Jam, Josh Ross (p), Chris Drier, Len O’Grady, Jason Jam, Josh Ross (i), Mick Clausen, Len O’Grady, Jason Jam, Austin McKinley (colors)
Publisher: Ape Entertainment
I’d love to read a Nightmare World TPB someday. I don’t say this because I found this issue lacking in either the story content or pacing. Quite the opposite. Not only are the stories (there are four main ones) nicely paced, written and illustrated, they also get across their point in all but a handful of pages. The reason for my opening statement is that the tales of Nightmare World give the reader an eerie feeling. Now this is probably what the creators of this series are aiming for. As a TPB (i.e. basically a whole bunch of these types of stories together), it will do away with the biggest problem that I had with this issue; I felt I had reached the end too soon. I state this even after reading through the entire fifty pages, (50 includes the covers and ads).
Out of the main four stories here, two are related with one being a sort of prequel/origin story to the other. It is the story of Vanessa. Once a victim, she becomes a victimizer after making a deal with the devil (literally). This after her own fiancé turns on her and nearly kills her off and that too just because she wasn’t able to defend herself and was forced into becoming the "bride" of the (other) villain of the story. In the second story, which by the way comes first and is set in the future, the now possessed (evil?) Vanessa gets killed when she tries to get the next victim for the altar of Cthulhu. I'm not quite sure if she gets killed or is just temporarily incapacitated.
Of the remaining two stories, one is about the seven sins and is the one that impressed me the least. On the other hand, the fourth story is probably my favorite of the bunch, even more so for its placement. Placed between the two Vanessa stories, this one is about love and sacrifice. I especially liked the introduction that the "narrator" Dirk Manning provides here.
There are also three one-page quickies. Amongst them the creepiest is the suicide one. The funniest is the monster through the toilet.
Conclusion: Ape Entertainment seems to be making a habit of bringing excellent, intriguing and totally newbie accessible stories to the readers. Nightmare World is the latest such example.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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