Graveneye by Sloane Leong

details
Title: Graveneye.
Writer(s): Sloane Leong.
Illustrator(s): Anna Bowles.
Letterer(s): Anna Bowles.
Publisher: TKO Studios.

Format
: Paperback.
Release Date: December 1st 2020.
Pages: 180.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
ISBN13: 9781952203176.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

thoughts

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.


EXHIBITA
Thank you Medialab PR for sending me a copy for review.

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17 thoughts on “Graveneye by Sloane Leong

  1. If I were basing my purchase decision strictly on the cover I’d have passed this one by. And based on your review it sounds like that wouldn’t have been a bad decision this time, though there are certainly times it would have been. The artwork doesn’t really work for me. Maybe in time I’d warm to it. Sorry to hear you didn’t find the story engaging. I do like the quote you chose, though: “The first time we met, I bit her.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t blame you there. I wouldn’t have bought this too. Someone would have had to convince me to do so. I was still curious to try it out since TKO Studios did deliver some awesome stories in the past. Unfortunately, I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement for these creators. Hahaha it’s actually the first line in the story and, to contextualize, it’s actually the house saying it, having cut one of the characters when she tried to open a door or something. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An intriguing concept. Too bad the execution wasn’t the greatest.
    Sometimes with my stories, when I think I have a fun idea, I focus on it more than anything else and I don’t realize that the story is half-baked until it’s too late. You’re too blinded by the pride of coming up with something original.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting to hear that take from a writer. It must be so exciting to find an original idea too. I can understand why you get consumed by it and might fall into a pit too deep to see how you’ve handled the other elements of the story. I guess that’s what editors are for in the end hahaha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nope, thanks. The art is just not my cuppa, and the story similarly seems not something I’d enjoy – and from your review I’m assuming you didn’t either. But thanks for taking one for the team, Lashaan! 😀 I’ll be steering clear of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear from someone who read it too. It’s so sad that it turned out this way. The narration oftentimes felt iffy, unnatural, if I could say so. I think the story could’ve benefited from a triple-narration at least to get us to better connect with these characters too. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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