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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!