REVIEW: Elk’s Run: A Tale of Small Town Horror (Chapter One)

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Noel Tuazon with Scott Keating
Publisher: Oni Press

Elk’s Run is one of those self contained environments, that tend to breed a different type of thinking.  Created to support the miners, the town endures now that the mine has closed.  With it being a self contained world, the repression of youth and radical ideas such as going to college have greater impact.  Throughout this, a group of teen friends get their kicks where they can leading to the horror element advertised in the title of the book.

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov paints a traditional picture.  We have seen the disenfranchised youth scenario a number of times from Eerie Indiana to any number of different genres.  They key to making successful, is that the reader needs to empathise with key players.  In this case, the desire to have the sort of life that a lot of people enjoy; college life and other “certain needs” which posses a rather serious mathematical problem.  The script is reflective and seems to provide a genuine voice for all the characters of which there are quite a few.

Art is provided by the tag team of artist Noel Tuazon and colorist  Scott A. Keating, who between them create a well elsworn world that wears its familiarity proudly on its sleeve.  The at is expressive when needed, although the figures can look a little stick like and therefore a tad indistinguishable. Panels are spaced and sized differently to help with the visual pace of the book, with the worn feel coming directly from Keating’s  palette choices, in many cases picking a base color then applying variants to create texture.

This is the Tenth Anniversary edition so, long time fans may have seen this book previously.  For newbies like me, its an interesting little comic, with questions set up for later issue answers, the need for which is tempered by the horror of what people do when stagnation is a great fear than evolution.

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