Written by: Patrick Scattergood
Artists: Ahlam Albaiti, Kate Beaumont, Carlos Moreno
Cover Artist: Ahlam Albaiti
Published by: Dark Pond Creations
The Flesh Tones comic series has just returned with Issue 3. With a trio of stories penned by Dark Pond Creations co-founder: Patrick Scattergood. Our dark journey continues into the lives of some misfortunate individuals. “The Tunnel” follows the story of one man’s sexual desire come true, as he is invited into a dark underpass only to face justice. “The Passage of Time” tells the lost love story of the elderly Emily, as she spends her days in a nursing home. Closing this Issue, we have “Sleep”. A convicted child killer has been released early from prison. His mind is broken and he longs for rest. One man’s bullet allows this monster to slumber forever, but at what cost? Three stories, three truths. All characters received some form of justice in their end.
By no means does this issue gently guide you in with a welcoming hug and a cup of tea. Our first story shows us two individuals that were about to hook up after ‘talking’ online, for what could have been some S&M play. The story got immediately more frightening when the truth about ‘Gary’ was revealed. There are people like him in this World, and that my dears is truly frightening. “The Passage of Time” was a break in between the horrors of humanity. Emily’s story is indeed a sad one, but her final moments really left us with some hope. That was all dashed away however in “Sleep.” A child murderer, released from prison all too soon. Although he battles with insomnia, the parents of his victim go through far much more. Their actions stain both their hands and souls, perhaps too much to carry on living.
‘Gary’ gets his kicks by committing some malicious acts upon his targets. His actions seem to have caused the deaths of many and justice is swiftly taken by one boy’s hands. However no matter how much you may think the scum of the Earth deserve to be killed, you are just releasing them from what should be a lifetime of guilt and incarceration. A lesson that is soon learned by the once victims, turned murderers. This is later repeated by the grieving father in “Sleep.” On to a lighter note, Emily’s’ last moments are filled with her lost love. Having gone through life unable to find another, she was left alone and resides in a nursing home. Her thoughts are put at rest when she imagines her soldier by her side.
Each one of these stories deals with death, either through the enjoyment of murder, bittersweet revenge or simply passing away of old age. A depressing topic and these stories are all capable of bringing forth the all too real realities some people may have. Although this series is far from a jolly happy one, it does shine the light on humanity’s dark side. Conjuring up stories of an unfulfilled life, sick desires and the lengths one would go to gain their own version of justice. Some dark scenes, where someone can either be stabbed or shot in some form of vengeance. With only Emily’s death being the only peaceful one. A tale strategically placed in between some vile tales of criminals. All of the Flesh Tones comic series leave such an impact, that they bring the reader back to reality. To look at the world with closer inspection, to find the hidden dangers they may have overlooked and to do something about them, to make their world a safer place.
All of these stories were penned by Patrick Scattergood, co-founder of Dark Pond Creations. “The Tunnel” was illustrated by Ahlam Albaiti, whose art style fits in very well with the storyline. In a black & white font, he brings to live the monstrous existence of Gary. His journey to the dark tunnel and his bitter end. The witnesses to his demise are comprised of children, whose identities are kept hidden by making them all look the same. It is only their numbers and stature that refine the idea that they were all child victims of Gary. The carving into Gary’s chest adds as an extra punishment, not only killing him but also labelling him as someone who deserved this punishment. “The Passage of Time” sees Patrick teaming up with illustrator Kate Beaumont. Who has previous working experience with Cosmic Mind Comics with her book “Respectable” and its’ prequel “Rockabilly”. “The Passage of Time” takes place in a nursing home, void of dark, sinister shadows and filth. Instead the only sadness lies within Emily, as she reminisces about her lost love. With clean, crisp drawings we see how organised the home is. As well as the carefree life Emily lead up until the beginning of the War. The fading image of Emily and her soldier walking away in a glow of light, leaves a glimmer of hope. “Sleep” is a joint story by founders of Dark Pond Creations: Patrick Scattergood and Carlos Moreno. Much like their earlier collaborations in The Meek comic series, the illustrations are much darker, favoring the dark shadows. A technique used to set the right tone for the story and acts as a general indication on how the lead characters mental health may be. In the case of “Sleep”, we see a lot of stress, sleep deprivation and depression. Longing for some rest, and knowing that he will get it from the man he hurt the most. He sees peace in his end and accepts it gladly. Although there are no defining features on any of the items, all of the furniture and belongings are clear to see. The characters appear aged and stress, however the closing image is one of both relief and despair knowing what the outcome was.
Dark Pond Creations is an indie comic book publisher, formed back in 2014 by Carlos Moreno and Patrick Scattergood. Based in the UK, they aim to have a varied collection of artistic style, titles, scripts and genres. Their aim is to release their creations both digitally and in print, working to produce comics in as many genres as possible with the assistance of a wide variety of artists and writers. Their comics are available through Sellfy and Drive Thru Comics, as well as printed copies on their Etsy store. You can also buy them in person in the numerous conventions that they attend.
This issue, along with many others can be bought in digital form from www.sellfy.com/darkpondcreations and in print from (as well as some of their art) from www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DarkPondCreations You can also follow the Dark Pond Creations team on their Facebook page, for more up to date releases and information.
Another thought provoking issue from the Dark Pond Creations team. A deep look into a small group of individuals last moments before death. How they lived, their regrets and ultimately – their demise.