Title: Twisted Romance #1 (of 4)
Words: Alex de Campi, Sarah Horrocks, Magen Cubed
Art: Sarah Horrocks, Magen Cubed, Katie Skelly
Publication Date: February 7, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “Critically acclaimed writer ALEX de CAMPI teams up with some of comics’ hottest artists to create tales of love gone wrong, right, and everywhere in between. ISSUE ONE: “OLD FLAMES” In New York City in 1978, there are thousands of ways for people to get together. There’s only one agency dedicated to tearing them apart: Heartbreak Incorporated. But who is the handsome seducer who runs the agency, and what is the secret he’s hiding? Drawn by KATIE SKELLY (My Pretty Vampire). Backup comics story by SARAH HORROCKS (Goro, The Leopard) and prose story by MAGEN CUBED (Crashers).”
The three tales in this anthology are as twisted as advertised. The first “Old Flames” is a creepy tale of jealousy and hunger. The short story “Leather & Lace is about monsters in love hunting other monsters. The final piece “Red Medusa on the Road to Hell” is an abstract nightmare about a prophesy of love beyond death.
There is ambition here, but it doesn’t always hit the mark. The strongest writing is in “Red Medusa”, the story with fewest words. Horrocks’ entry is compelling and nightmarish yet barely anything happens. The weakest entry is the short story which is out of place and over long.
The straightforward approach in “Old Flames” adds an additional horror in its very simplicity. “Red Medusa,” on the other hand, boldly assaults the senses adding to the insanity.
The Bottom Line:
A mixed bag of minimalist and abstract art coupled with writing that is equally inconsistent. A difficult and unsettling combination that is mismatched. Perhaps the next issue will be more cohesive. The art is more successful by far than the words.