Writers: Brandon Starocci, Alan Dingfelder
Illustrator: Dmitris Nastos
Editors: Brandon Starocci, Alan Dingfelder
Publisher: 1282 Avalon Comics
Interior Artwork: 3.9
Cover Artwork: 4.0
About the Book:
Avalon Issue 2 is the second instalment in a story created by 1282 Avalon Comics that was funded on August 22 on Kickstarter. There have been further issues since instalment 2 and 1282’s stated aim is to have issue 6 out by the end of 2023.
As a brief reminder Issue 1 shows us the Castle family as they celebrate youngest son Mason’s birthday at Bob’s Diner. At the same time the oldest son Andy, a policeman, is on duty and responding to a wellness call with his partner, Miller. The black and white art, bleak backdrop and obvious internal tensions and issues within the family foreshadow well the coming tide of chaos as the zombie apocalypse is about to descend upon their world. Will the gore laden pandemic cause the family to fracture apart or force them to come back together and act as a unit fighting for each other’s survival? Well, we start to see the answer to that question in Issue 2.
Things begin back at the diner when a customer rushes inside alerting everyone to a man hunched over in the carpark groaning in agony. Mark Castle (dad) goes out to see if he can help only to be attacked and bitten by the heavily blooded individual. Mark and the other customer beat back the attacker and retreat into the diner locking the door behind them. Problem is there’s already an infected customer in the diner who after showing signs of illness attacks his girlfriend causing the staff and remaining customers to band together and escape the diner- just as more infected people start crashing through the windows.
Andy, the older brother, on patrol with his partner Miller is forced to escape the tenement, scene of their wellness check call, as they are attacked by an infected elderly resident and mass carnage breaks out amongst the rest of the residents. More worryingly as they retreat to the fire escape they can see infected people rampaging outside as well. Oh and in addition to all this both Andy and his family at the diner find that the police dispatch is failing to respond to calls!
We close with Andy bandaging his partners bite wound whilst the Castle family are involved in a car crash as they flee the diner leaving things poised nicely for continuation in Issue 3.
With six issues due Avalon has clearly given itself space to establish a set of well fleshed out characters who have at the outset issues with themselves and each other. As their story arcs develop through the darkness and chaos of the unfolding flash flood of gore, they must address these issues as well as maneuver the collapsing world in order to survive.
In the second offering of Avalon the impending catastrophe begins to reveal itself and there is a real 28 Days energy to it. From the slow build-up of tension we saw in Issue 1 the characters are now immersed into a full blown, violent, world where society is literally disintegrating before their very eyes.
The dialogue has ratcheted up a pace and effectively delivers the sense of urgency and confusion that the characters are experiencing.
The art/panel style also reflects the stories change in pace very well with its more chaotic, slightly disorienting layout and shifts in setting not being flagged so clearly. The heavy use of close ups really adds to the sense of characters experiencing events up close and personal and makes the reading experience more confined – which suits this story well. We really are seeing events unfold through the perceptions of the characters. It’ll be interesting to see the interaction when the ‘bigger picture’ via emergency newscasts etc impinges on this closed in world view.
As in Issue 1 the art is rendered in greyscale with color only being introduced at the end of the story or throughout when blood is spilt (which is a lot). This added to the confined dark quality of the story.
The cover art for issue 2 is strong and vibrant and matches the theme of the issue very well.
We are still a bit early in the series to see characters begin to address their issues and transform but with dad and Andy’s partner Miller both bitten already I’m assuming they’ll soon be part of the raging horde. It’ll be interesting to see how the plotline deals with this and the impact it has on the other characters.
Avalon is definitely delivering the goods for fans of the horror genre.