Cape Augusta, Maine. Sounds like the perfect place for a Stephen King novel, doesn’t it? Well, in this case, it’s not a King horror novel we’re discussing, but the horror comic, The Plot, from Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci from Vault Comics. Let me first say the colours, the drawings, and the expressions on the characters will not just draw you in, but they will make you very uneasy. Completely uneasy. Unnerved, let’s say.
The colours are spot on perfect to enhance the mood, the lettering not only moves you through what happens, but actually lead you into emotive moments in such a way, you feel them deeply. The storyline is paced perfectly and as someone who is picky about pacing and a story which feels deep yet not dragging–this story is perfect so far. You need this story, even if you’re not a horror fan. Truly. If you are a horror fan, you must make room to read this series.
Let’s talk a bit about the story, without giving the good bits away. The opening really hit home for me. It was as if Moreci and Daniel had known my family. “In order to receive, first you must give.” It’s the opening of someone speaking about his family, referencing his father and his grandfather- all in the act of giving being more than just charity, it being of the soul, the empathic love. But sometimes, giving has a cost- a deep cost. This is where it started to hit home and got very uneasy for me. Page two and already my heart started pounding, grabbed my pillow and debated just how dark would this comic go.
The speaker spoke on how troubled his father was, how even others noticed. Then suddenly, the scene turns to San Francisco, California, to a gathering of people. A man stood there, speaking of his father, the illness coupled with his passion for helping others, in turn sparked a need for this man, a doctor, to help others with mental illness. That is, that’s what he’s trying to say until he loses track of his thoughts, his words. He excuses himself from the party and you wonder what is haunting him.
This beginning excited me and we’re not even past page five. As the story continues and the darkness becomes deeper, the giving turns into something harsh and painful, you wonder just what drives the son, what is in the darkness…and when you see the next scene- you realise there is more there than even the dark could imagine. More, you realise this tale affects every member within this family. Every member along the family line from father to sons to grandchildren. The question then becomes- who isn’t affected?
This isn’t your normal dark tale. This is a tale which haunts you by the words you’ve lived by, the beliefs you carry, and it makes you wonder what the hidden meanings behind them are. It makes you wonder- what if there is something behind the words, something sinister, something that keeps the dark at bay, or worse, what if it you only think it’s kept at bay, but it’s not?
Moreci and Daniel start this story with darkness and small glimpses of what seem like light. But just once you think perhaps the light might have a chance, they slide the light out inch by inch and replace it with a layered darkness that brings not just fear, but a deep ache of worry, a sense of unworthiness within that perhaps you aren’t enough. It’s enough to make you wonder- what is it about The Plot that makes you fear not just the dark, but fear words, fear places with dark history, places where the family doesn’t visit anymore.
I highly recommend this comic and this series is going to be outstanding. You can see from the first issue alone that this universe is going to be something which makes you think, which makes you jump, which makes you nervous, and yet, you’ll want to read it again and again. Moreci and Daniel have done a superb job with this first issue and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. Is it too early to ask for the TPB?
Rating: 10/10 for the sheer scope of the book, the fear, and the fright I now have after reading it more than a few times.
The Plot #1
Writer: Tim Daniel & Michael Moreci Designers: Tim Daniel & Nathan C. Gooden
Artist: Joshua Hixson Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: The Vault Comics Editor: Adam F. Wassel
Available: Everywhere comics are sold, Comixology