A Truly Modern Horror
Tripwire’s contributing writer Tim Cundle takes a look at Cold Spots volume one, out now from Image…
Cold Spots Volume One
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Mark Torres
Letters: Simon Bowland
There was a time when horror was the dominant comic genre, but public outrage, moral outcry and the comics code severed its brief rule and while remaining a popular storytelling medium, horror has never quite reached the same level of popularity that it once enjoyed. At least, it hasn’t in comics. It’s a shame that that horror has remained on the fringes of the four colour world, as comics, along with film are the perfect vessel for telling tales of the macabre, supernatural and horrific. Cullen Bunn and Mark Torres’ Cold Spots is a case in point. A chilling, thought-provoking tale of ghosts, ghasts and things from the other side, Cold Spots manages to fuse the essence of a slow burn, character-driven thriller with brief bursts of activity from the creatures from the beyond the curtain, before Cullen’s Bunn’s story gathers momentum and spirals toward its haunting climax. And while Cold Spots would undoubtedly be a gripping, nerve-shredding novel, it’s the partnership of Bunn’s prose and Mark Torres’ hypnotic art that combines exquisite detail and washed-out, faded colour that ensures that the story burns its way into your psyche.
What starts out as a seemingly simple tale of private investigator Dan hired to find a woman and her missing daughter becomes far more intimate and personal as the previous relationship between the seeker and the lost soon takes centre stage. Tracing his quarries to a mysterious island that lies just off a town plagued by cold weather and bizarre deaths, the investigator soon realises that there’s far more to this seemingly straightforward case that he ever dared imagine possible. Caught between the desire to escape and his need to finally do the right thing, Dan discovers that the little girl that he’s been sent to locate and retrieve unwittingly lies at the centre of the woe that has befallen the locality. Trapped on the island and at the mercy of his quandaries supposed benefactors, he is forced to fight for his life and those of the mother and daughter that he’s been sent to find. And like all of the best, and most grizzly, of supernatural stories, nobody emerges unscathed from, and some fall by the wayside during, the ordeal. Disturbing and, at times, more than a little frightening, Cold Spots is proof positive that horror comics have come a long way since EC’s heyday, are no longer the gore soaked idle pursuit of adolescents, and can honestly stand alongside the very best of Horror literature. It’s cold outside… Tim Cundle