An Astonishingly Horrifying Horror Graphic Novel
The Lurkers 2005 Graphic Novel Review
Steve Niles, Hector Casanova
Horror maestro Steve Niles has conducted another wicked symphony for the depraved to enjoy. Mr. Niles is fast becoming my favorite writer of horror graphic novels. He seemingly can compose any type of horror story well: horror/noir (Dead She Said), ultra gross horror (City of Others), comedic horror (Cal MacDonald), and with The Lurkers, dramatic and moody horror (and I didn’t even mention his popular 30 Days of Night!)
A very cool page from The Lurkers
The Lurkers has its own angle on the zombie/ghost genre that gives it a sense of originality even though it employs familiar horror elements. Niles has a talent for maximizing character development in a limited number of pages. In The Lurkers, Detective Dietz is investigating child abductions. I felt for the guy as he dealt with some highly unusual events as well as mundane family issues.
Steve Niles probably made some kind of deal with the devil because he repeatedly gets to work with some of the best artists in the field: Bernie Wrightson, Kelly Jones, Ben Templesmith, Breehn Burns, and in The Lurkers, Hector Casanova. Mr. Casanova creates a dark, foreboding air through his skillful use of light, shadow and monochromatic effects. His coarse, sketchy lines create a sense of movement and allow for his masterful CG work to
The Lurkers #2 Cover
come through. He uses the computer like a painter and many of his frames are like little works of art. His character design of the lurkers is fantastic. I love their exaggerated limbs and fingers and their oversized fishbowl eyes. His limited use of gore serves to heighten its impact when it is used. And his violent scenes are chaotic and harrowing. We don’t get too much of either until the story’s shocking crescendo.
Niles and Casanova have created a mini opus with The Lurkers. It’s a real pleasure to read something that succeeds in delivering both character driven emotional impact and creepy creatures. I’m happy that Mr. Niles is doing such great work and if I ever meet him I would love to thank him by jamming a knife right into his eye socket. I think he would appreciate a gesture like that.