Ok, I find it rather odd that I love comics and love horror, yet I haven’t really read a whole lot of horror comics, with the exception of Hack/Slash. Recently I was offered the chance to check out the first two issues of the crowdfunded indie horror comic Blood & Gourd, which involves killer pumpkins. How could I say no?
It’s Devil’s Night in Olympia, WA- and out at Henderson Farms, the festivities are reaching a crescendo. Young and old have gathered to pick their own pumpkin, drink hot apple cider, and partake in the usual pumpkin farm fare. However, something has awakened from deep within the fertile soil. After years of abuse and humiliation, the pumpkins… are ready to pick us. You can beg! You can scream! But these Hell’s lanterns are lit only with the burning desire to watch you die.
The people involved include:
Jenz K. Lund – Writer/Creator
Dave Acosta – Artist
Juanan Ramirez – Artist
Juan Albarran – Inks
Fran Gamboa – Colors
Juan Carlos Ruiz – Flats & Letters
Additional Art – Tucker Rzepecki
The first issue of Blood & Gourd was a pleasant surprise. The writers spent a fair amount of time letting you get to know the characters before the shit hits the fan, which made me care about what was happening instead of just seeing it as mindless carnage. Don’t take that to mean that there isn’t a fair amount of bloodshed because there most definitely is. Some of this includes pumpkins latching onto peoples heads with their razor sharp teeth (after which they seem to take control of the body), and pumpkin-headed people being impaled with various farm implements.
The story had moments that were genuinely shocking, as no one is safe from the pumpkin menace. I really enjoyed how the creative team mixed various different types of horror to make something that felt unique, including some Lovecraft, Body Horror, Cult and Slasher elements. The first issue ended leaving me wanting more ASAP, which was perfect as I had issue two already.
Issue two starts with some backstory (which I won’t spoil), before moving right back to where we left off, picking up with the survivors of issue one initial onslaught fighting back, with varying degrees of success, leading to an insane amount of deaths considering the relatively small page count. Therein lies the only complaint about issue two: It is roughly half the length of issue one. It spends most of its page count on the action, which leaves little time for development of the story. That being said, it is still fun and engrossing. The first issue made me care enough about the characters (especially resident badass Kitty) that I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
Blood & Gourd is a brutally fun indie horror comic with a ton of potential. If executed right, I could see it becoming a huge hit with fans of The Walking Dead comic, as its developing an interesting and badass group of core characters. If you like apocalyptic Lovecraftian horror, I recommend you give Blood & Gourd a shot.