Written by Chad Helder, 2008
Art by Daniel Crosier
BARTHOLOMEW OF THE SCISSORS is not your average off the shelf comic. For one, and I suppose this should be a point of disclosure, its creator and writer is Chad Helder of Unspeakable Horror, a fellow blogging member of the League of Tana Tea Drinkers. For two, the striking artwork is not a standard paper and ink affair, rather each page of the comic has been burned into cedar planks by artist Daniel Crosier. The resulting aesthetic is, for lack of a more graceful word, badass.
Chad was nice enough to send along the first issue for review, whose Sep. 24th release can be pre-ordered online at TFAW.com and other retailers. It is a tricky prospect for me whenever an artist is eager to pass along their work for review. I’ll feel bad if the work in question ends up being lackluster and I then have to return their generosity with negativity. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem writing a negative review (even if it means Anchor Bay stops sending me stuff for free), I just feel a twinge doing it to someone who was nice enough to offer in the first place.
Fortunately, there is no twinge here. BARTHOLOMEW OF THE SCISSORS is good stuff. All I’ve seen is the first issue, but I’m sold on the project. Once I finish telling you why this indie comic is worth your time as well, I’ll submit my order for issue #2. Sadly, I’ve got to wait until the end of October to get it.
The first issue introduces us to all the major players of what, I assume, will be the end of the world. A psychic girl whose powers of pyrokinesis manifest our introduction to Spectral Phantasms. A private investigator who knows of these phantasms and is tracking down their cause and effect in the world. The ghost of a molested and slain boy named Bartholomew returns to earth to kill perverts eyeballing his crime scene photos on the web. An entity called The Pastor who protects a growing and hungry amorphous blob in the ocean. All are mysteriously being pulled towards one another in yet to be explained intricacy.
As said, the first comic is predominately all setup. We see the plot’s stage being set, but more importantly we see the artists’ stage as well. Helder’s writing is sharp, though I do think the density of his narrative takes a few transitional panel double takes to fully absorb. Crosier’s style, the aforementioned wood burning, is not only undeniably unique in form, but an inspired method for bringing out Helder’s haunting demonic otherworld.
I could recommend BARTHOLOMEW OF THE SCISSORS for the art alone, or because it is shaping up to be an enjoyable nightmare, or because it was created by an associate blogger. Pick any or all of the three, point is I can recommend it and am pleased to do so.