BONE PARISH #1 / Writer: Cullen Bunn / Art: Jonas Scharf / Color Artist: Alex Guimaraes / Letterer: Ed Dukeshire / Cover Art: Lee Garbett / Publisher: Boom Studios / 25th July 2018
Each time a new indie title written by Cullen Bunn appears I instantly know I’ll be hooked. Bunn is a master when it comes to opening issues, giving you an almost seamless story insight, as well as perfect character introductions. Bone Parish stays true to both those statements.
The opening of Bone Parish #1 could be any town or city on a weekend evening. Intoxicated on some new form of a hallucinogenic drug, we see a partygoer high as a kite, experiencing a rock stars onstage performance. This is quickly followed by a drug deal of said hallucinogen, explaining how you should only take small doses at first for conditioning. If not, then the worst trip possible could take you to “hell house”. Scharf and Guimaraes’s art and colours really hit the mark on the first few pages (and the book). Bright, dreamy colours during the first hallucinogenic trip, followed by dark, shadowy tones which you would expect with any drug deal in an alleyway.
Bunn then does what he does best, character and story introduction. Within 6 – 8 pages the principal group of protagonists have been flawlessly presented and the seeds of the overarching story have been firmly planted. With this quick but incredibly detailed story introduction, Bunn is then able to flesh out characters late on in the issue.
Character focus is mainly on the group who are behind this niche product. A small but close-knit family, who deal with everything from production and supply to grave robbing…. Yes, grave robbing. This is one hell of a family enterprise.
Once word starts spreading about this new hallucinogenic drug, bigger operations come calling- those with dire warnings of what could follow. Employee issues, cash problems or unable to keep up with the demand. Buy-outs? Power struggles? Who knows what Bunn has planned in future issues but I for one will be continuing to pick this title up.
At the comic standard of around 23 pages, this opening issue moves at some impressive pace. But like I said before, Bunn is a master at his art. He grabs your attention from the start and then dropps one hell of a twist on the last few pages. As is with all of Bunn’s indie horror work, he leaves you on a cliff edge and wanting that next issue in your hands immediately.
VERDICT: 4 rotten corpses out of 5