When your opening salvo is a threat to send Charles Darwin in a bathysphere through time and into someone’s stupid face on a tattoo-decorated rocket, then your book better live up to that mad threat. The good news, right out of the way first, is that the first issue of Eldritch! not only backs up the threat but delivers 120% of the madness.
The shot is thus: meet Anya. Anya loves science, has purple hair and is apparently fearless. Anya has a brother. This brother’s name is Owen. Owen has learned a new magic trick that begins with being able to severe his own fingers with impunity and ends with Black Hellish Bile From BeyondTM spewing into the world and attacking Anya. Anya does not appreciate this in the least (quite reasonably) and decides to get to the bottom of what’s happened to her brother. This quest will lead her to do battle with dark forces, not the least of which is a dude who apparently thinks singing along to Bon Jovi is a good idea.
The book is like an alternate universe where John Carpenter (the good Carpenter, the one that was kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a duplicate circa 1992) created Fairly OddParents except with significantly less fairies and significantly more in the way of Lovecraftian WTFery. Anya makes for a great science sleuth who knows more about mold than anyone should. And by the end of the first issue, there’s no clue as to what’s happening, other than it’s gone beyond Less Than Desirable and straight to Holy Christing Evil. Which, frankly, makes me want more.
[ad#longpost]It’s Aaron Alexovich’s scribery that gives Anya her Darwin fist rocket (plus bonus points for Ghostbusters referencing), but I think it’s Rausch’s mad cartoonish artwork that has me thinking of OddParents. That and the fact that all the adults appear to be on crack. Of course, when you look at the creative team’s CVs, you realize Alexovich worked on Zim and Rausch helped bring you Sullengrey. So it’s fairly obvious that their therapy isn’t working and we are reaping the benefits.
The book is fun. That ick sort of fun that you know is going to leave a stain but you just don’t give a damn. If anything could be improved, I’d like to know a bit of Anya’s back story as to why she doesn’t seem to blink when confronted with black bile and magic and such.
Eldritch! is available as a PDF or through the Graphic.ly and Comixology apps. For a complete rundown and more information on this insanity, check out the official site. The book is $.99. Not much else in this world is. Enjoy.