(Naked Woman)Bats in ‘The Belfry’ by Gabriel Hardman

Gabriel Hardman released a one shot comic earlier this year from Image called The Belfry, a spooky horror tale about bat-women attacking the survivors of a plane crash.  Semi-NSFW, btw.

Belfry Cover

We’re thrown into things in media res at the start of The Belfry, with Bill, one of the pilots of the plane, awakening after an apparent crash. A bat woman is stuck in the glass of the cockpit, apparently killed by crashing into the plane.  Bill checks the plane and passengers, then leaves the plane to see what’s going on.  Outside, though, there is another bat woman, and she attacks Bill and bites him.  He passes out, and the story continues from there.

Belfry page 1
Page 1, from the Previews preview. So the naughty words are blacked out for you.

 

Once Bill awakens, he finds the rest of the passengers and crew awake.  They’re remarkably unfazed by what’s going on.  Throughout this book, things are very off kilter like that.  There’s a feeling of unreality, of being pulled into a world that is not our own, to reflect how strange the Belfry is.

Belfry page 2
Page 2, again from Previews. If you look close here, you see the nipple of the bat woman isn’t blacked out. This will become funny on page 4… Also, who HASN’T had this happen to them, anyway?

 

The visuals are very creepy in this book.  Hardman uses a slashing ink line for a lot of the book, and it’s very dark overall.  There are no other credits, so I assume that Gabriel Hardman did all of the writing, art, coloring, and lettering.  As you can see in the first page, the crash lettering really conveys the chaos of a plane crash, while on page 3 and 4, the FWIP that is repeated to show the sound of the bat woman wings has an ugliness to it that conveys the leathery sound of the bat wings flapping.

Belfry page 3
Page 3

 

Hardman also angles the panels during the bat attacks, to show the chaos of the attacks nicely, as well as showing the flight of the bat women.

Belfry page 4
Page 4. These nipples are taboo.

Overall, The Belfry is a good looking, nasty little horror tale that is a bit light on story, but very good on mood and atmosphere.  Check it out in your store’s back issue bin, or if you do the digital thing, check out the Kindle version here and when you click there, you help us out at the Atomic Junk Shop!

One Comment

  1. Simon

    “(The key to joy is disobedience / There is no guilt and there is no shame) / […] / A glass of spirits made of ethereal salt, hermetically sealed up / Kept continually in quicksilver, of so volatile a nature / That it will scarcely endure the light / And therefore only shown in winter / Or by the light of a carbuncle, or a firefly / And batwings / And batwings sing this limnal hymn / A wideness opening and closing to keep the darkness sealed within” — Coil’s track “Batwings” (2000), after Thomas Browne’s “Musæum Clausum” (1684)

    – “Semi-NSFW, btw.”

    NSFW is an initialism alright, but is “btw” a Welsh word?

    – “A bat woman is stuck in the glass of the cockpit”

    That’s one big moth on this here windshield, yes sir.

    – “nasty little horror tale that is a bit light on story”

    Hence the review light on summary? What’s the elevator pitch, “30 pages of Female Batman dishing out Sexy Vampire Death”? And what’s this belfry?

    (If you like his art, Hardman’s drawing INVISIBLE REPUBLIC, co-written by Corinna Bechko. Political scifi that remembers Kim Stanley Robinson’s classic ICEHENGE (+|+), but less speculative and more thriller-oriented.)

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