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The Sickness #1 Advance Review

the sickness #1 cover a uncivilized books

Arriving this summer, you cannot escape The Sickness and it’s unnerving, slow burning sense of dread dripping from every page.

Here it is, you’re holding this newly purchased comic in your hand (which you can get directly from Uncivilized Books). The art naturally attracts your eyes to the title; “The Sickness”, positioned perfectly against a blood-orange sunset backdrop. The lettering style suggests you are about to read a very comfortable book set in 1950s suburbia. As your eyes move down the cover, you see a seemingly perfect suburban street. Neatly lined houses, manicured lawns, trailing blood, a dead dog, and a mother murdering her child in the street with a rolling pin. Wait…WHAT!?

Simultaneously calming and shocking. The juxtaposition between the serene, and the unnerving, best describes this new book by Jenna Cha (W/A) and Lonnie Nadler (W). The creative duo returns to working together after producing the hit Black Stars Above (Vault Comics).

The setup.

1945, Stillwater, MN. The first panel snaps your brain away from the horror of the cover as a giant eye is thrust into your face. No words are spoken as the panel slowly pulls out of the eye to a stereotypical post-war boom suburban street. Ford Standards populate the streets while townsfolk walk around in nice clothing. A toddler attempts to grab people on the streets as a disgusting liquid is rubbed against a diner window where one of our protagonists, Daniel, sits with his friends.

The strange liquid begins to spread over the diner window and Daniel’s vision begins to blur as he stares through the large diner window. His friends attempt to talk to him but he cannot tear his face away from the strange visions he’s seeing in the street. A mysterious man with a blurred face and strangers staring at him with sadistic grins.  He suddenly jumps up, excuses himself, and flees the diner to his house; only to find more hallucinations awaiting him.

Flash forward to 1955, and Dr. George Brooks is researching the grizzly scene found on the disquieting main cover for The Sickness. A woman has just murdered most of her entire family, and Dr. Brooks seems to be the only person who doesn’t think it’s just a normal case of psychosis. As he ruminates on the gruesome scene, he prescribes morphine for the barely surviving and disfigured boy and notifies him that his father and sister did not survive the killing spree.

The Sickness has arrived and we don’t want the cure.

The Sickness reads like it was written by the master himself, Barry Windsor-Smith (Monsters). Cha and Nadler have created a deeply touching and unquestionably disturbing look inside a sickness that is taking over the mental capacities of those afflicted by it. With a taste of Junji Ito and Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing is Monsters), Jenna Cha conjures up frightening ways to shock and disgust the reader. Horrifying screaming children, pot holes that look like melted skin, and warped faces pulled in the wrong direction drag your eyes from the tranquil post-war Colorado life, to the shockingly abrupt horror that “The Sickness” is creating!

Final order cut-off (FOC) is Monday April 24th. So DO NOT forget to tell your Local Comic Shop that you NEED this book! Diamond order code: APR231914

Horror fan? Well then why not check out this Advance Review for The Nasty #2!

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