Writer(s): Sloane Leong.
Illustrator(s): Anna Bowles.
Letterer(s): Anna Bowles.
Publisher: TKO Studios.
Release Date: December 1st 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
My Overall Rating:
They say walls have ears. What if they could also see, feel, and remember everything? Isn’t a terrifying thought? A place you call that might have witnessed everything and anything that happens within its premisses. After all, between those walls, our darkest and most intimate secrets are often laid bare for those with access to our kingdom. Sometimes, these secrets are often best kept to our grave but when we are the guardians of these mysteries, we become one with them, and a home makes it its business to understand those that inhabit it. Written by author Sloane Leong (A Map to the Sun, Prism Stalker) and artist Anna Bowles, their story presents a horror tale driven by obsession and a thirst for darkness.
What is Graveneye about? Deep in wild woods lies an enormous mansion where resides Ilsa, a peculiar woman harboring dark, grim, and sinister desires and needs. Drawn by a compulsion to hunt, carve, and give a second but inanimate life to animals, she seeks the help of a young maid who goes by the name of Marie, another woman who lives on carrying a heavyweight upon her shoulders. As they both carry on to their respective duties, they soon find their lives entangled and inevitably crossing paths, leading them down a perilous road where obsession meets desire. Trapped in their own habits and infatuations, there is only Isla’s home to remain witness to the horrors that take place upon its insides.
“The first time we met, I bit her.”— Sloane Leong
There’s a solid concept hidden behind the poor execution of this stand-alone story. In an ambitious effort to turn the mansion into a character and allowing it to narrate this story through an omniscient voice, it, unfortunately, suffers from a cold and distant intimacy with the characters’ lives. The lush prose desperately seeks to draw the reader into its unique perspective, offering an obscure glimpse into the lifeless horror story while it struggles to allow readers the chance to connect with the characters, their voice, and their tragic and bloody fates. Where there might have been an original attempt at creating an intriguing mythos through this tale of abuse, obsession, and unrequited love, it fails to properly create an organic and engrossing narrative in the end.
The artistic style utilized for this story has its strengths through its colour cohesion, focused on a greyscale scheme with red to accentuate bruises, blood, and gore. Although there’s a certain chronology to scenes, a regrettable choppiness does impair the pace and the structure. However, an effort to capture the core emotions of these characters can be observed through noticeable body language and facial expressions, which helps drive the story’s own emotional foundation, allowing readers to understand what truly drives these desperate characters. Unfortunately, the artwork remains an acquired taste and the narrative isn’t enough to justify the partnership between story-telling and artistic vision.
Graveneye is a poorly-executed horror story about obsession, despair, and desire told through a mansion’s unusual viewpoint.