Creeped Out By TKO Studios’ Graveneye

We’ve known that those who walk in Hill House walk alone. But you’ll never walk alone when the house is alive and hungry. Hungry to be filled with memories, perhaps, but the first thing the house in Graveneye confesses is that it bit the new maid, Marie. We can hope for an unreliable narrator, but no such luck. The secrets it holds are of a serial killer, and this twisted cat and mouse game plays out elegaic, disturbing, and more often than not, strangely beautiful.

Created by Sloane Leong and Anna Bowles, Graveneye jumps around in time. Marie is the latest in a line of maids, a helpless doe inside the house that holds a wolf. The others’ fates can be guessed at, but the house — like any good storyteller — knows to leave much of it to the readers’ imaginations. The Mistress of the House, Isla, has a proud, regal bearing, and if she revels in being red in tooth and claw, that doesn’t seem to bother Marie, who finds tending the house to be a respite from her abusive marriage.

Making her graphic novel debut, Bowles uses a pen and ink style that captures the rough and the strangely tender elements of the story. Red splashes occasionally intrude, sparingly and effectively. The only recommendation to be made as far as appreciating the art is to find this in print rather than digital; a few impressive layouts have their impact dulled by being onscreen.

As TKO Studios also releases their graphic novels as a boxed set of individual comics simultaneous with the trade, this might even be one you’d rather read as individual issues. Each of Leong and Bowles’ chapters should be savored, and at the end of each one, fading to black may resonate better if you have to put down one book and pick up another.

The slow revelations of Isla’s tormented evil — and to the house, beautiful soul — burrow under the skin. Leong sketches out Isla’s nobility and magnetism, as well as tragedy. There’s a veneer of gothic romance to Graveneye, and as ’tis the season for ghostly tales, this makes for a great Halloween treat.

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About Derek McCaw 2034 Articles
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He has performed with ComedySportz and Silicon Valley Shakespeare, though relocated to Hollywood to... work in an office? If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.