The Horror Honeys: Surviving is All That Matters ~ 'The Kill Screen'

Surviving is All That Matters ~ 'The Kill Screen'

ComicsHoney Reviews by Shannon

The Kill Screen

Title: The Kill Screen #1: I Love You
Author: Mike Garley
Artist: Josh Sherwell (Art) Mike Stock (Letters)
Publisher: Mike Garley Comics 
Released: 2014

Set two years after ‘The Kill Screen’ event, humanity is left on the brink of extinction leaving the remaining survivors caught in a deadly 8-Bit fight for survival.
No one knows what caused computer errors and technological faults to infect our world, but with a wide range of different dangers, threatening the lives of the survivors on a daily basis, no one cares. Surviving is all that matters.

Artwork 4/5
Layout 5/5
Writing 4/5
Characters 3/5
Re-Readability 4/5
Total Score: 4 out of 5

Have you ever found a film or book in which the cover reaches out and grabs you by the neck? Well, it felt like that when I saw this image on tumblr (alternative cover illustrated by Ian Churchill) in which my first couple thoughts were: What the fuck is this? And WHERE CAN I GET IT!

After looking up this comic, I was eager to read and review this book. The premise of technology making us into zombies is not a new one with titles such as Pontypool, Stephen King's The Cell, and so on. However the style in which these “zombies” are created is quite original as we will reveal through the review.

Artwork
The first thing I will note about this, is the artwork by Josh Sherwell and lettering by Mike Stock. On the one hand, the artstyle is rather simple, nothing out of the ordinary with rough lines, simple colours, shading and textures. On the other hand, this helps to set up the surrealism of The Kill Screen.

Those “zombies” (I say this lightly) in Kill Screen are essentially infected with computer virus and this is illustrated with characters covered in code, glitches, static, SMPTE colour bars, blue skin- basically the whole “Blue Screen of Death” joke is taken literally in this comic!



Layout
Another wonderful bit of the design in this comic is the layout, involving stark white gutters, simple panel arrangement to give the feeling of mundane. Then having a more dynamic layout with overlapping panel and even one page using Tetris pieces and the Gameboy screen for their panels.

This is not the only time they use computer graphics as part of the comic design- one of the pages uses a “File Cannot be Found Page” in a rather genius way, and a “loading” graphic which actually fooled me for a moment since I was reading the comic in a PDF file.

Writing
The story is written by Mike Garley, where he introduces in first issue the first character, Jill, dealing with her distract boyfriend during the infection. Then goes ahead 2 years later as she is making her way through the post-apocalypse city. There she meets up with another survivor named Chris (...Uh, Capcom might want a word with you.)

Jill and Chris explore the building in which they end up in the middle of deathmatch between the Infected groups. Did I mention that there are two types of infected in this comic? Its not just one entity they are battling.

Even though the first issue doesn't have a lot going on, everything they are revealing in the comic asks more questions and makes you want to know: what happened, how it happened and what will happen next

It's a great way to get people interested in the comic by introducing the world with just enough information to keep the reader wanting more.

Characters

The character development is a little sparse in the first issue, primarily to introduce the setting of The Kill Screen but I can definitely see more coming in next issues as we watch Jill and Chris try to survive the world.