The Raven Menace

0 Issue
written by David Crocker
illustrated by Elias Martins

You can read this online or CONTACT them for a print copy.

I live in the woods

surrounded by large redwood trees, hundreds of feet tall. It's very quiet. You hear the scurrying of squirrels scampering up and down the trees. A distant barking dog. A swarm of Harley motorcycles way down deep on the main road a few hundred yards away howling...

... and then once in a while you hear a WOOF-WOOF-WOOF sound of something really pushing a lot of air under it, like enormous fan blades. You look up and there's a huge raven with a 5 foot wingspan just 20 feet or so over your head, gliding on over to its perch on a tree.

Crows and ravens are truly ominous animals, just ask Edgar Alan Poe. It's with this motif we're put into David Crocker's Raven Menace comic book. It's a 48 page odyssey that shows a tragic turn of events for a guy named Mac, a scientist who is in charge of protecting the fragile ecosystem of the US Southwest desert around the Grand Canyon.


It starts at a bar.

Mac discusses his observations on wildlife. Then there's a flashback of him and his wife, where he's both relaxing and on the job patrolling the Grand Canyon area. A raven filches a nugget of dog food and flies away, Mac goes after him, finding an enormous tree.

Dream sequences follow and a fairly confusing sequence of images that left me a bit baffled

It wasn't until midway through the comic that a true 'story' starts taking shape: setting, character, action, result -that kind of thing.

And that's this comic's biggest flaw. David Crocker's intentions are clearly to show a character transforming from the living waking world to his nightmare fantasy world and drifting between the two. I understand that. What's unclear is the story that's being told because of it. Things do happen to Mac, and there's consequences to his actions for sure, but there's no connection the reader can rely on to follow him in his story. The Raven Menace is a comic that would've benefitted greatly by having an editor at the helm to knit the disparate parts together to guide the reader through the protagonist's quest.

This comic does have an atmospheric quality to it. Some of the panels are clearly imaginative and compelling. The Kickstarter page that helped fund this comic describes Mac as:

"a loner making a living as a wildlife biologist in the desert of the American Southwest. He has kept a dark secret from his friends for a lifetime: a roadside reaper won't let him die."

Perhaps in future installments of this story David can tie the narrative together a bit more tightly and show us more of this immortal figure of the highway.

Next week:

By the Time I Get to Dallas 2.

The further adventures of Rudy Deckart and the swarm of humanity who are all trying to get to a specific spot on the globe. Written by Colin Devonshire.

UPDATE on Mayfield Eight Part Three: Faster, Faster!

It launches TOMORROW the morning of Wednesday February 10 2021. The first 20 backers who choose a physical reward will have added to their purchase a FREE original pencil drawing culled from the images and characters of the hit FX series Sons of Anarchy!

Hit my Kickstarter page NOW to get the preview version and make sure to hit the 'remind me' button to be notified automatically -and get your original drawing- upon launch!

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