Written by Ted Adams
Art by Santipérez, Jay Fotos, and Robbie Robbins
Published by IDW
Release Date: July 5, 2017

“California isn’t actually on fire…This isn’t that kind of story. They’re…visual metaphors. You decide what they mean. Bottom line: Things aren’t always what they seem”. Want money, power, love? Step into the Diablo House, if you dare, and sign on the dotted line in this first issue of Diablo House.

Adams paints a vivid picture with his diction, portraying a retro tale of horrors, need, and, in the end, morality. It’s the start of a series seemingly one-off tales of the dangers of greed and vice, with a knowing narrator staring straight at the reader as he tells the story of one couple who fell into the clutches of this house’s temptation. I love the grimm-like, old wives’ tale-esque feel to the entire piece and I find it refreshing that it’s most likely going to be an anthology of people making terrible choices for selfish causes. I can’t wait to read the next issue.

The art style is what brings most of the retro, morality tale atmosphere to the comic and I really love Santipérez’s work for that. It digs deep into the glimpses of what I’ve seen of older comics of other eras and it’s a nice change from the polished, computer worked feel I get from a lot of other artists. The Gaudi architecture that is the Diablo House is fascinating to look at and I noticed the influence instantly. I’d say the weird Burger King logo etched into one of the doors feels kind of out of place, but other than that, really brings the horror atmosphere.

The comic layout for each page is always interesting. I like how it’s rarely the traditional form of layout. I love how photos are integrated or how circular panels are placed. Having coupons, people, and newspapers seep into different panels is always fun and I appreciate the off-kilter panels that are just slightly off from being in their right place.

Fotos’ coloring is fantastic. I love the lackluster colors which contrast the deep shadows throughout the comic. It adds an eerie appeal to each panel. I love especially the more fantastical panels Fotos colors. The red of souls contrasting with the green of the sealing of the contract is a nice juxtaposition.

If you like old-school horror tales, I definitely recommend this comic.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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