Francis Sharp in the Grip of the The Uncanny Chapter is a 96 page B&W 8.5*11 Book. It’s created by Brittney Sabo and Anna Bratton. It’s set 1930’s New Jersey; we meet Francis who along with his parents lives on a farm. Francis has no passion for the farm and has to help out due to financial reasons. His passion is in fantasy stories, he loves listening to them on the radio and role-playing the “The Occultist”. In order to pay their debts his parents go to Westfield with the radio and silverware leaving Francis alone with chores.
Later on his friend Harry comes over to listen to the radio, as they have no radio they start to play “The Occultist” in a field. Francis see a fox like black animal in the field, he chases after it and falls. He ends up in ravine; he keeps walking and finds a clearing between trees, walks through them. There he encounters a dark figure, he escapes a runs down a road he finds. He is lost and scared in a dark town full of strange creatures. He hides himself and falls asleep. In the morning he finds himself out side a bookstore. The owner of the bookstore is a Mr. Elmerugge Ffrenshe who is a goblin with long pointy ears, fingers and feet. As the two of them try to figure out who they each are, Kay Elmeruge’s cousin arrives with news of a monster in Valleyghast the night before. Kay discovers Francis and after hearing about what happened to him, has decided to help him get back home with the help of her cousin.
The 8.5*11 size of the book makes it feel like wide-screen reading experience. All the panels are big making it easy to see all the lovely detail. The art style reminds me a little of Jeff Lemire. The characters have a certain charm about them. The goblin world along with 1930’s New Jersey is crafted with great detail.
This is the first part of a four part series. It’s made with young adults in mind but it is a book anyone will enjoy. The book has a lot of charm and I am sure there is enough going on to keep any reader keep turning the pages. My only negative comment is that the story seems to be stuck in first gear and I would have liked the story to move a bit faster. To be fair it is part 1 of 4 so maybe reading the whole story this might not be the case.
Check out the preview here http://comicbuzz.com/francis-sharp-in-the-grip-of-the-uncanny-chapter-1-preview