Black Harvest #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW


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Black Harvest #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW


  • Words: Josh Howard
  • Art: Josh Howard
  • Inks: Josh Howard
  • Colors: Josh Howard
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2005

The creator of Dead@17 returns with a story of mystery, horror, and dark conspiracies.

Pursuing his obsession with UFOs and the unexplained, internet journalist Daniel Webster finds himself in the town of Jericho, Texas, home of the mysterious "Jericho Lights." While driving at night, Daniel nearly runs over a half-naked girl wandering the desert with the word "Repent" carved onto her stomach. When he rushes the girl to the hospital, he is informed that she is Zaya Vahn, someone who vanished years ago. The local authorities want to pin a kidnapping on Daniel and Zaya herself remains almost comatose after whatever she experienced. That is, until she begins to exhibit unusual abilities…

Josh Howard, the writer/artist behind the recent cult hit, Dead@17, begins his latest project with a story that owes as much to science fiction, government conspiracies, and Biblical allusions as it does to the horror genre that brought him success. I must confess that I missed the boat on Dead@17, despite the fact that Howard’s art style seems right up my alley. Having now read Black Harvest #1, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this man’s work. Howard tells a solid story that poses many tantalizing questions and makes me want to investigate the goings-on in Jericho further. What seems at first a typical alien abduction story takes a couple unexpected twists and brings a fire-and-brimstone feeling of impending doom. Howard gives the entire town of Jericho an uneasy atmosphere and thrusts the affable Daniel into a frightening and perplexing situation.

As mentioned, the artwork is of a style that is very appealing to me. Howard lends a slick, cartoonish stylization to the book. I see the same rounded forms and classic design sense as artists like Darwyn Cooke but with enough individual touches to produce a look that’s fresh and unique. Howard also shows a knack for drama and cinematic angles in his panels. An area he could stand to improve in, however, is his design for the female characters (Yes, I know. "Blasphemy!" cry the fans). Each young lady in this comic is wide-eyed and adorable, to be sure, but after a while, they begin to all look alike.

Whether you’re already a fan or just discovering him as I am, Josh Howard seems to be a creator to watch. Be on the lookout for Black Harvest and keep your eyes on the sky.

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