RAVENOUS: Indie Comics Review

RAVENOUS: Indie Comics Review

In a recent Mini-Comic Book event in Miami I was given a variety of books to review by Creature Entertainment Co-Founder, artist, writer and Editor-in-Chief Juan Navarro. What I got was a treasure trove of Indie Comics. Hit the Jump for more.

Ravenous Issue #1 - 1st Printing

Released: 2012
Who: Creature Entertainment
Company Website: Creature Entertainment


Editorial Bias

When it comes to comics most of us here pretty much love them...But how many of us get a chance to read really good independant comics? I ask that question, because I am curious. I love Indie Comics. I have my own Indie Comics Press and will be releasing many of our works this year. That said, I have a deep respect for Indie Presses putting these kinds of comics together. Especially comics like the ones developed at Creature Entertainment.


The Good

From the very beginning this comic feels like a momentary prologue at the start of your favorite horror TV series. It leaves your mind begging for more from a very visceral tearing of emotion, action, and horrific visuals. The protaganist, Blackthorne, is an interesting character with some underhanded context to his behavior and demeanor. Someone who doesn't seem to really care about the people he is essentially saving, but does the work none-the-less. 

The various characters being encountered all seemingly have a stake in the scenario in this comic, if at the very least, their lives are to be considered. Giving this entry in the series an air of danger and urgency. A perfect hook for the first outing of the title.

The Bad

I found a few typos in the dialogue and a random use of a letter turned backwards which wasn't consistently used throughout the book. While I'm not nitpicking this occurence (even though I'm mentioning it), I am curious as to why it is there? The work is so meticulously beautiful in it's interpretation of horror, I wonder why the lapse in lettering exists for one instance.


The Ugly

The comic is gorgeously drawn by Jose Varese but to give a completely objective look at the story, there is a moment on the 3rd page that breaks your focus from the build up of tension where the inner thoughts of the protaganist are not in line with what is actually happening to him on the page. I wasn't sure if the intent of the story (here) was to cause us to imagine these events in slow motion as the action occuring on the page was running through his mind. But the sequence and scenes depicted did not indicate this. So it broke me out of the fantasy of the moment and delivered me into a nerdy-rage-like reality where I end up nitpicking the choice of layout and location for those words. Because I felt they could have been placed elsewhere to maintain the suspension of disbelief. But once I 'suspend' that point and refocus on the read, it doesn't really matter. 

It is as if I went from understanding a slow motion moment as the character is being attacked to all of a sudden being moved back into normal or accelerated speed. Hearing the sound in my mind as if it were animated on a screen. But this is my perception as I attempt to unnaturally interpret what may not be the case at all. Which may be confusing for others.

The Great 

The concept is solid, especially for the current climate of Horror and Fantasy material in the market place and the story works extremely well. Even though my encyclopedic mind tends to compare what I am reading with a combination of the Demon Knight, Feast, and Legion film themes of the past. I take the situation at hand, and focus on the characters, the urgency of what is happening to them, and see a wonderfully unique story begin to emerge. After I wipe my eyes from the mental image that blood has splattered all over my face; the story that is Ravenous becomes for more clear and enjoyable.

...and Amazing?

Comics have to deliver a certain level of suspense regardless of the subject genre and it has to do it within a very small window of time. In this case it has to do it with 18 pages. What it delivers is a very tense set of moments that immediately help you understand what our protaganist is trying to do. It doesn't feed you everything about our antagonists other than a singular purpose of what they are and what they can do. John Ulloa delivers a heart pounding and creative story that will cause you to stop multi-tasking (as I was doing) to be fixated on the entire read until the book is put down. Only to be picked back up again to peruse once more to enjoy the beautifully drawn art and enjoy the carnage a second time. 

Whether or not I was invested in the various characters didn't matter; I wanted to know what was going to happen to Blackthorne. The narrative pulled me away from caring about those around him, almost similarly to how the protaganist himself displays his concerns toward others. Perhaps because I wanted to see a large amount of chaos on the page, or perhaps because I started believing the character. Either way, that comes out beautifully in this issue.

Overall Verdict

I enjoyed this piece so much I've read through it a few more times, mostly because I thought I missed the characters name (which is only given at the end of the book on a concept art page by Varese) and because I thoroughly enjoy this style of art and how it depicts the feral ferocity of the werewolves involved. It doesn't seem to hold back in its delivery and I appreciate that kind of story telling. 

For general comic book fans I give it a 3.5 out of 5 Geeks, but for fans of Horror Comics or specifically Werewolf and Supernatural genre material I have to give it a 4.5 out of 5 Geeks. If it wasn't for the few issues I noted above it would almost be a perfect Indie Comic Book entry in this genre (IMHO), and that is rare for me to find and state. 

I highly recommend giving it a read if you are a fan of the genre. Support Indie Comics!

4.5 out of 5 Geeks 

Have you read Ravenous? Did you enjoy it? Do you agree or disagree with this review? Let me know here in the usual place.

By @EmanuelFCamacho
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