Written, inked, lettered, and cover colour by: Peter Simeti
Pencils by: Kevin Christensen
Published by: Alterna Comics
Betrayal, revenge, and humanity’s horrifying capacity for evil.
Richard Sullivan has the extreme misfortune of being the only innocent man on death row. That’s what he’ll tell you anyway. That’s what every inmate who’s ever been incarcerated will tell you. If our narrator is to be believed, he’s gotten the bum rap and has spent the last ten years of his life rotting for it.
Locked up beside murderers, rapists, child killers, terrorists, and serial killers will take its toll on anyone. In this prison, though, the warden and the guards are the real monsters. Sullivan silently witnesses the torture and murder of his fellow inmates until the day he’s pushed too far. Sullivan begins to question his past and his own sanity.
The monsters in here aren’t the ones behind bars
The story touches on important issues that are especially topical in the current political climate. This story digs much deeper than simply telling one man’s story who claims to have been wrongfully accused. Mental health, criminal justice, family values, nature vs. nurture, and widespread government corruption are some of the themes Peter Simeti explores with his script.
Kevin Christensen lent his raw, gritty pencils to the book. Christensen’s dark, sketchy style tells a story on its own. Printed on newsprint in black and white, this book almost didn’t need to be lettered to tell the story and be creepy as hell.
Alterna Comics is making it their mission to bring back newsprint comics. Peter Simeti tells me he has two reasons. The first is nostalgia. “To me, newsprint is synonymous with comics – at least it was for a very long time. It’s the stuff we all read as kids, it’s the way these stories were all brought to life.”
The second reason is accessibility. Keeping Alterna’s comics at a lower price point makes them available to just about anyone who wants to read them. “Each issue of the 4 part mini-series is $1.00 each. That’s a whole story for the cost of basically one issue anywhere else.”
If you’re a fan of horror, mystery, or suspense pick this one up for a buck. The content is very dark, though. Be advised this title carries a Mature rating for good reason. You can also catch one of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s final performances in the movie adaptation of The Chair on Blu-Ray and DVD in October.