Sean Hitcher has just returned from war. He didn’t die in Iraq, but part of him wishes that he did. He’s home now, back in the small Midwestern town where he grew up. But he is haunted by nightmarish visions of killing and carnage that seem to be the result of severe PTSD. But are they? Is there something he’s missing…
As mysterious acts of violence spread throughout the town, Sean begins to wonder if there’s more going on than he originally thought. What terror did he experience on the battlefield, and what horrifying secret did he bring back with him?
Written by J.T. Krul with art by Andrea Mutti, Sand + Bone is a fascinating graphic novel being released at Barnes & Noble. Bringing together the Iraq War, PTSD, and a small town setting Krul has created a story which is perfect for horror fans and at the same time has a deeper theme of the horrors soldiers bring home with them.
What really impressed me about Krul’s writing is the fact I wasn’t sure what was really happening when it came to the acts of violence in the town. I had my guesses, and in the end the revelation is something I feel like I’ve seen before, but Krul keeps us guessing until the very end.
On a deeper level, Krul uses the horror themes of the story to explore the actual horrors of war. Mixing in flashbacks with flashes of violence, you can easily see the allegory going on, that war turns man into monsters and peaceful individuals into killers. It unleashes the monster within and we as a people need to recognize that and treat those who need it lest the monster is let loose back home.
Mutti’s art masterfully captures the depressed small town location while at the same time keeping the vibe consistent with the horror themes. The art provides us glimpses and flashes of what’s going on but never full spells it out, an excellent decision that adds to the mystery of it all.
Sand + Bone is an excellent example of using entertainment to explore current socio-political issues and raise awareness of work that needs to be done. My only knock is the abrupt ending that felt more like a curtain suddenly being dropped than a flowing ending. Hopefully, we’ll get more of this story or an exploration of the world where Krul and Mutti can continue to expound upon this solid start.
Story: J.T. Krul Art: Andrea Mutti
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read
Adaptive Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review