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Dreams Aren't an Actual Way Out of Horror in The Escape

Welcome to 31 Days of Horror Comics, where I will spotlight some of the best horror comics around, as chosen by a bunch of my favorite horror comic writers and artists around!

Today's creator is Al Ewing, who is killing it right now on the Immortal Hulk, making it one of the most successful mainstream horror titles that we've seen from DC and Marvel in many years...

A little bit more under the radar is the recent Crypt of Shadows, an excellent horror one-shot that Ewing wrote that was filled with awesome twists. It actually sort of reminds me of the story that he recommended today!

First off, Al generally recommends Taboo, Stephen Bissette's independent horror anthology (where Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell first serialized From Hell) and a little bit less generally, he recommends the fourth issue...

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And more specifically, he recommends "The Escape" by Belgian comic artist, Philippe Foerster (who typically goes by just the name Foerster). The story shows a freakish chicken/human-like creature on the run...

But then a man wakes up and the experiences he is having as the monster are just a dream...

We cut back, and we see that the mutated being is also a bit of a vampire and it is killing people in its path...

But once again, we're pulled back to the "awake" world, seemingly seeing things in the real world that are inspiring the dream...

but in reality, it is the opposite. The creature is dreaming, believing its actual life is a dream....

What a brutally clever tale.

Here's Al on the story with more specificity (and spoilers, hence me waiting until now to share his thoughts)...

[T]he most memorable story in there is LA FUGUE (THE ESCAPE) by the Belgian artist P. Foerster, a quirky tale of a strange, vampiric mutant, two years old but half a chicken and half an old man, on the run through a rural landscape in what might be a post-apocalyptic future. Or is it the tale of a portly middle-aged man who keeps disturbing his wife with his unsettling dreams of being a vampiric mutant? Whichever it is, the clear-line style, more reminiscent of a cartoon than a horror piece, and the distancing effect of the childish narration only serve to exacerbate the creepy horror of the mutant's doings, as he drains various animals and children of their "red liquid" to keep himself alive, while reminiscing of the beautiful music "the Mommy" once played to him on the piano. If you can get any issue of TABOO, I'd recommend it, but #4 - and LA FUGUE - remains a particular treat for me.

Thanks for the suggestion, Al!

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