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Bone Parish #1 Review

Bone Parish #1 Review

Bone Parish #1 
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jonas Scharf
Colorist: Alex Giumarães
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: July 25, 2018

The Story

There’s a new drug on the streets of New Orleans—The Ash. Naturally, it’s an hallucinogen made from, you guessed it, the ashes of the dead.

You want to experience the life of a dead rockstar or a rumored real-life sorcerer? The Winters family has got just the thing for you.

Because of the immense popularity of The Ash, organized crime doesn’t just want a piece of the action, they want to buy the whole operation. Yet, the Winters family isn’t quite ready to give up the family business.

The Writing

As you can imagine, this story is one of the creepiest debuts you’ll ever read. But it’s also one of the most intriguing.

Cullen Bunn introduces characters seamlessly without bogging the story down. At first understated, Bone Parish builds to reveal it’s more than just a simple crime/horror comic.

And Just like the the city it takes its inspiration from, there’s always more to see than just the surface. Bunn has created creepy yet tasty layered mob/supernatural confection.

it’s got substance; you do yourself a disservice if you read it only once.

Masterful storytelling.

The Art

Jonas Scharf (pencils) and Alex Giumarães (colors) have created a New Orleans that exquisitely complements Bunn’s script.

Each character is distinct and easy to identify right from the beginning; you won’t find any stock characters here. That’s hard to do when there are many characters to follow. But Scharf makes it look easy.

Giumarães’ colors echo the darkness of the story. All his colors that suit the narrative like a satin glove.

Subtle touches, such as the slight glow of The Ash provide small clues to the supernatural part of the story. To be honest, it was something I didn’t notice until a second reading of the book.

Further, Ed Dukeshire does a superb lettering job. I’ve read so many comic reviews and nobody ever gives love to the letterers. It’s a thankless job and people don’t seem to realize the letter work provides the cadence and the emphasis of the spoken word within comics. Without folks like Dukeshire, comic conversations would be monotone and boring.

Certainly, the Bone Parish cannot be accused of being boring and mundane and Mr. Dukeshire ensures it stays that way.

Final Thoughts – Bone Parish #1

For the first half/three quarters of the book, Bone Parish seems like a crime story you’ve read before but then the supernatural layer hits you square in the face. Not to mention, it will leave a bruise on your psyche and maybe provide fuel for your nightmares.

This book is a must-read if you’re looking to expand your comic horizons.

If you weren’t sure about Cullen Bunn’s status in the top tier of storytelling, this book will firmly place him there—where he belongs.


What did you think of Bone Parish #1? Tell us!

For this review, I purchased Bone Parish #1 from Sketchbook Comics and Games.

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