Ghouls! Zombies! Mystery! Noir! Stitches: The Undertaking, story by Travis Duda & Dan Lee with art & letters by Shawn Daley, is one of those rare comics that comes from out of nowhere, with a concept I’ve never seen before. So before we proceed let’s get the concept out of the way.
Edward Ables is living a quiet, happy life as the owner and director of a funeral home. Of course his past harbors one heck of a secret. His “insatiable hunger for human entrails” might have been a hindrance in the past but his current career choice is a perfect fit. Things don’t stay rosy forever though and now with his food source becoming tainted he needs to get to the bottom of the situation or who knows when he’ll see his next decent meal.
Ed is that type of character we all root for, he’s flawed (he is a ghoul after all) but you get the feeling that, at least recently, he’s been a live and let live type. Of course years of needing to feed have equipped Ed with a certain set of skills and he does seem to relish the idea of being back in the hunt. Couple those skills with some interesting super-natural abilities and you’ve got a fun, well-paced story that takes a forty’s detective vibe couples it with the macabre and brings it all right into the modern age.
A solid story is a great start, but as we keep saying around here comics are a visual medium. Luckily Shawn Daley does a superb job of keeping the horror aspect creepy without going full-blown gross. He also has a knack for the noir 40’s style the book calls for. His characters, settings, and color palette make this book not only a great read but also a treat to look at. Here, see for your self with a short preview.
According to Travis rest of the arc is in the works so hopefully we won’t have too long to wait for the further adventures of our cannibalistic Columbo. If you’re game head over to Hunchback Publishing and pick up issue one, ghoul be glad you did. (Ugh did I really go there?)
Stitches: The Undertaking gets a four out of five. Get it here.