This issue is a superb introduction to the Indie stylings of Free Lunch Comics. Only in Whispers #1 is an anthology book with tales of the supernatural. These stories take place in the past and the present, following characters both mundane and intriguing. Variety of tone is truly an asset of this issue. We experience freakish stories that carry their own individual flavors of eeriness. As a pleasant surprise, the different art styles contrast well with each other to produce a wonderful first issue.
To start off this collection of spooky tales, we witness a feud between a struggling writer and a potential Devil herself. Although the character context is somewhat open to interpretation, the strength of this particular story is that it sets the tone of this issue with excellence. Writer / editor / publisher Steve Kanaras works with artist / president Matt Ryan to tell this spooky story full of spiders. Hey, I love spiders so you know this sold me. I got a damn arachnid tattooed onto my shoulder so I better be down with this tale.
Next up is a somewhat confusing prose piece. Although I appreciate the attempt to mix in a bit of pulpy supernatural storytelling, this particular take didn’t do it for me. I feel like the momentum would have been best preserved by cutting straight to the next illustrated tale (which just happens to be the best of the book).
One Nibble at a Time, by Kanaras and artist Stephanie O’Donnell, is the best thing this book has to offer. The story follows a broken man who made a dark magic deal with a demon. It’s a hilarious interpretation of the “deal with the devil” concept. Makes me with that these two handled One More Day because at least I would have laughed my ass off. Imp, the hell spawn that helps take our protagonist to riches, is funny in an ALF-meets-Satan sort of way. My favorite moment of the story was watching the demon give the protagonist a high five on their way to glory. It was smart, irreverent, and smooth.
The next story is by Kanaras and artist Anthony Summey. The art is extremely strong in this tale, and so is the story’s concept. Rich with history, religion, and intrigue, these two creators immerse readers into a world of magic. It’s fascinating to see the way the story unfolds, especially if you’re a history buff.
The final illustrated piece is by writer / artist Andrew Pollock. His art style is like a fusion of Mike Mignola, Paco Medina, and Chris Bachalo. His visuals are cast in stark black and white images that emote with wonderful effect. His story deals with a haunting Banshee and a hunter determined to end the Banshee’s legacy of terror. The action was well choreographed, really expressing the violence of the battle. Artistically, this is the issue’s pinnacle.
At the end, we are treated to some prose tales of the supernatural, straight out of real life. I thought this was a terrific twist to the issue’s concept. I implore you – if you have a spooky real-life story to tell, share it with this comic book. All in all, this issue was a strong start for this Free Lunch Comics series.
7 / 10