Is it weird that after reading the first two issues of Scarenthood I wish I had a group of ghost hunting friends? Scarenthood #2 continues the Irish ghost/horror series as the pressure of balancing the hunt and their duties as parents clash.
As a parent of a two-year-old, writer and artist Nick Roche captures so much of the life. There’s the silly conversations. There’s the difficulty of life and work balance. There are just so many small details that I appreciate as a parent.
But, what Roche does even better is the build up of the mystery. After the first issue’s “wtf” moments, Scarenthood #2 dials things back a little using subtly creepy aspects to build the tension and weirdness. There’s lost time and the build up of dread. The way it’s all presented it creates a tension that is felt off the page. This is a horror story where I have no idea what will happen.
Scarenthood #2 takes some solid queues from past horror stories where it’s not about jump out scares but the build-up. Films like the Blair Witch Project come to mind where the visuals and especially sound delivered the scares. Here, it’s walking down a tree-lined path where you, like the characters, have no idea what’s going to happen. That creates a tense situation for both. Roche, like horror masters, is controlling that tension and doing it really well.
Roche is helped by colorist Chris O’Halloran and letterer Shawn Lee. There’s some really smart decisions for both to help build the atmosphere that Roche is going for. Colors are on the drab side of things but not in a dark sort of way. There’s lots of browns and greens with a subtle use of dark colors to shift the situation. It’s really something to pay attention to and helps command the vibe of the comic. Lee’s lettering too packs a lot into panels as the parents deliver smartass comments back and forth and every so often deliver that needed exclamation point.
Scarenthood #2 is a solid horror/mystery series but from a perspective you don’t see a ton of. This isn’t some professional group or teens being stalked. This is a story of misfit parents attempting to solve a mystery like Gen-X Scooby-Doo. It delivers characters I, as a parent, can relate to and a story whose attention to detail creates a fantastic experience.
Story: Nick Roche Art: Nick Roche
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Shawn Lee
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review