Comic Review: Wraith #5

Wraith #5
Welcome To Christmasland
Created & Written by Joe Hill
Art by Charles Paul Wilson III
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Robbie Robbins
IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 26, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Wraith #5 is”¦ well it’s another in a very strange story that really feels like it should be enjoyed while partaking in a hallucinogenic substance”¦ or it was written while enjoying some. Wraith continues the journey into Christmasland as we see what Manx’s little psychotic children get up with a sex criminal and discover a little more about how one can escape this perpetual Noel Hell.

I’ll be honest with you all, I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but it did grab my attention and kept it. The art is unique and while it’s not what one would consider high quality by mainstream standards, it’s absolutely fitting for the book. Manx’s children are drawn in a way that will fuel nightmares, and the sporadic blood splatter that Charles Paul Wilson III and Jay Fotos have devised is downright jarring at times. I’ll never look at an ordinary pair of scissors the same way again, I promise you that.

My only real complaint is that given the snowy landscape, we don’t get to see many of the details and landmarks of Christmasland. Keeping the rest of the environment shrouded in mystery is ok, but some people (such as myself) want to dive in and I feel a little short-changed without getting a better look around.

The art is a perfect match for this lunatic story by Joe Hill. The issues seems to be gracing the surface of an unbelievably deep world and just when I thought I was going to be able to process it all, the last panel arrived and completely changed the game. It was the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster of swerves. The dialogue is a little flimsy at times, but it’s not a severe detriment. The action and non-verbal information in the panels is handled extremely well.

Wraith is well written and sufficiently creepy to be something you really shouldn’t read anywhere but a well-lit room. With no children. And no scissors.

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