Lurker Issue 1: Harriet is a Tree

Written by Beanie Aurora White
Art by Anna Readman
Colors by Tanya Roberts
Lettering by Cardinal Rae

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A recurring nightmare theme.

'Lurker' is a series-based concept involving a voyeur-type spirit or character who will cause some kind of mayhem. The Lurker may also introduce the reader to a horrifying situation that said Lurker may or may not have been a part of. That's what I gathered from the first two introduction pages before the story got underway.

... so, what happened to her?

A girl named Harriet moves into a house with her aunt and has a room up on the top floor. Immediately adjacent to the house is this huge ominous tree, which calls out to Harriet in her dreams.

I confess Beanie Aurora White made it difficult for me to piece together the exact facts of their situation. A brother died, an uncle went to prison. Harriet's mother passed away (I'm pretty sure). Either Beanie was trying for atmospheric story telling by giving innuendo and suggestion, or she forgot to include enough material to let the reader in on her world.

I don't know. What was clear though was that young Harriet from the get-go hates her aunt, and that this voice in the tree keeps talking to her.

At first Harriet is visited by the tree in a dream state. Then it's made apparent -all to late- that the tree means harm in the real world. By the end of the story the tree wins out and everything converges back to it, with the black cat Podge looking on.

Evocative art.

What Lurker worked well in was its artwork, Anna Readman's style had a harsh 'woodcut-y' style to her line and figures that fell nicely in alignment with the menacing tree story. The colors by Tanya Roberts kept an even-keel bleakness of a somber setting, an eternal twilight that again lends itself to horror.

Muddy story.

What Lurker didn't do so well is define the characters background, both Harriet and her Aunt Marnie. Beanie might have made this better by giving us a clear back story, dropping the 'suggested' tension between the two main characters in favor of a recognizable conflict between them over a past event. That way, Harriet's transformation at the end when the tree goes berserk might have had more weight if her stakes -what she stands to lose- might have been known by us first.

I'm interested in reading more 'Lurker' tales. There's one about spiders in the works, and another involving evil clowns at the circus. I can't wait!

Next two Tuesdays:

The Surgeon.
No less than five comics depicting a post-apocalyptic world where a gifted doctor wanders across what's left of the US continent.

Tim Larsen

12 Woodwardia Ave

Felton CA 95018