32 Kills is a new release from Comichaus by Andy Clift and Mike Garley. It’s an ultra-violent action comic following the protagonist on a search for clues, or information, that finally takes her back home for a brutal confrontation. The dialogue is light, and the action is fast and heavy. The book is available to pre-order now and will release on the 22nd of September.
The book’s story is told mostly through action panels and a few flashbacks. There’s very little dialogue, especially from the main character. The story is good, though parts of it are a little confusing. Looking at it in its entirety it looks like a story about a woman searching for something. She gets a clue, or some information at the beginning and goes on a hunt for more, which we find out takes her back to her childhood home. From there it begins to read like a revenge tale, but again ends with her finding a piece of information or another clue. It’s possible that it is both a revenge tale, and a journey for some greater reward. You get a lot of the story just through the action, and some flashbacks to the protagonist’s childhood at the rich home she invades. The kills, 32 of them, are creative, bloody, and violent. There’s an endearing moment in the middle with some puppies, and the ending is brutally cold. I just wish there was a little more explanation behind the main character’s motivation. I have some guesses but the story is ambiguous enough to leave some doubt.
The art itself is fantastic. It’s all black and white, and the style belies the theme. The art style looks like something you could see in a Pixar movie, or a light-hearted comic for young people. Then you throw in the blood. It’s honestly a great looking book from the start and Andy has created a style that will make him instantly recognizable. It’s all very smooth, clean lines and no clutter in the panels. The action is easy to read and follow, and like I mentioned above you get a lot of the story from the art. Without a lot of dialogue it falls on the artist to translate the writer’s story. Andy pulls that off very well. Some of the panels were very much like scenes in a movie. Camera shots up an alley as a man falls from a gunshot, or the character’s actions interrupted by the camera cutting away to the legs of running dogs.
My only serious complaint with the art in the book is the panel layout. Except for a couple of them, every page is a set of four by four panels. It encapsulates the art in very small frames, though in one instance they kept the panel size but had the scene overlap into a two by two grid. That was actually jarring at first, since you grow to expect to read the book as four small panels, then four more and so on, suddenly you have two, with two below them making up one image. Then a few pages later the panels become more conventional as we see a flashback of the main character’s childhood. I would have liked to have seen the panels larger, and used more like a typical comic book page but that’s just me. It felt like the art was being limited by the frames, almost cut off. I was enjoying Andy’s line work and action scenes so much I hated to see them so restricted.
It was a good read and worth picking up as far as I’m concerned. It releases on the 22nd of September on Comichaus.com, and is available now for pre-order. It’s reasonably priced for a 40 page indie comic at 5.00 GBP, about $6.50 US. It’s worth giving it a look.