Skinned, 1 - 4 Tarot Edition

(From the Witch Creek Road universe)

Written by Garth Mathams
Art by Kenan Halilović

Available only through Kickstarter.

Here's how Garth's Kickstarter page described the comic:

"Skinned is about an urban legend named Skinned Tom, a man who was skinned alive years ago by the jealous husband of one of Tom's many sexual "conquests". Skinned Tom now haunts make out points, inflicting the same fate on those he finds. And sometimes, like Tom, these victims don't stay dead."

After reading these four comics I went back to read that quote to understand this story better. Yes, there were a few 'skinned' people lurking here and there, killing and causing mayhem. Without that explanation (which was missing in the comic) there was a lot of confusion.

Two sisters.

These four comics mainly center around a girl, Karly and her sister Hailey. Their mother and father have split up, they live in the house that mom kept; the dad lives in an apartment. The dad is also a Police Detective who investigates murders. There's been a series of murders: lovers found dead on the spot, the male skinned. There's one case however where the girl had escaped.

There's a lot of lazy writing here.

A city that undergoes so much violence would have a lot more uproar and outcries, and yet the detective father just goes about his humdrum business without any concerns. One daughter, Hailey, sports a pistol that she talks to which barely gets a notice from Dad. Karly and Hailey just get up and go anywhere they please without anything stopping them.

The approach of keeping the pages black and white removes me from the gore and horror. It makes the pages look too clean, too antiseptic. A horror/suspense story should drag in with it a level of messiness -which is implied by the writing true- but using so many big empty white pages keeps me away from that.

... but some cool ideas.

There was one scene where the girls go into a dilapidated house, boarded up doors etc. They go in deeper to see a big hole in the wall where, presumably the killer from the 1930s has his lair in.

The antiseptic whiteness and simple, matter-of-fact writing are what keeps Skinned 1 - 4 from living up to the setup Garth made for this. His other project, Witch Creek Road, continues in this same story line, and has a big following on WebToons.

There is also a Kickstarter going for a full color Witch Creek Road story going until May 25. This one looks a bit more promising, I've backed it as of this writing and look forward to reading it.

Next Tuesday:

Frank Hanley's Unlikely Heroes studio has created a comic called

Miss Medusa's Monstrous Menagerie: Sideshow Edition.
... whoa.

Tim Larsen

12 Woodwardia Ave

Felton CA 95018