This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!
Today I am featuring Volume 1 of Sam Costello's Split Lip horror anthology.
Split Lip is an online horror comic anthology that Sam Costello writes. He has different artists for each story. For the first volume of the print collection of the online stories, the art is by (in order of story they drew) Gary Crutchley, Kyle Strahm, Ayhan Hayrula, Diego Candia, Brian A. Laframboise, Iain Laurie, Nelson Evergreen, Brian McGleenon, Felipe Sobreiro, Sami Makkonen, and John Bivens
Doing a constant horror anthology with just one writer has got to be absolutely maddening. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to come up with new ideas for short horror stories over and over again, so it is to Costello's great credit that he comes up with new, unique stories every time.
However, as you might expect, there does tend to be a bit of a degree of "sameness" to the stories after awhile. It seems as though there's only so much variations on the horror theme that you can come up with before the stories begin to look a bit alike. One of the best things about, say, the Twilight Zone, is that they tended to have a bit more freedom with the resolutions of the story - you never really DID know what would happen at the end of a Twilight Zone episode, because you don't know if the story is going to have a happy ending or sad ending or a bittersweet ending, etc.
If you stick to a strict "horror" script, though, it lessens the impact of repeated readings, because after X amount of stories, you know that story X+1 will likely have a similar ending to the other X stories.
That's really just an aesthetic thing, though, it really doesn't factor into whether the stories are good or not, it's just something that came to me as I was reading the book.
As to the stories themselves, they're all very well-done, very professional stories. They get the point across quickly (with the short page space allotted for each story) and each story packs a punch. One story, in particular, involving a man on Death Row, was particularly good because while it was horrific, it was definitely a different TYPE of horror than the other stories in the volume.
Also, you have to love a sequential art take on The Railroad Boy!!
Here are some art samples...
Here's a page by Crutchley....
Here's a page by Strahm (who was probably my favorite of the artists)...
Here's a page by Laframboise (the man on Death Row story I mentioned above)....
The whole collection will run you $15 for almost 160 pages of comics. That's a goodly price, I think.
Click here to buy a copy (and see more sample pages).
Sam sent me a copy of Split Lip Volume 1. If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there might still be time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.