Piecemeal – Review
Piecemeal is a stand alone one-shot horror comic about cannibalism and haunted houses as much as it is about coming of age and friendship. It is written by Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men, The Sixth Gun) with art by Szymon Kudranski (The Punisher, Spawn).
Five high school kids, soon to say goodbye to each other and to the lives they have known, enter the Nightmare House, the source of local legend and superstition. What they discover within the crumbling old house fills them with terror – a human brain, floating in a jar of murky liquid. Soon, the teens find themselves stalked by a vicious killer, a murderer intent on building itself a new body. Piece by piece.
Piecemeal is the first in a line of stand-alone Graphic Novels by Aftershock Comics. It’s available right now through your local comic book shop and comes in a stunning Magazine style comic book format.
Piecemeal is a sick and decadent horror comic that steps back and asks the question, “what if Cullen Bunn had written Stand By Me?” or some other coming of age story involving teenagers or adolescents. Starring a group of teenagers on the cusp of adulthood and leaving high school, Piecemeal kicks into gear when Jamie (one of the teens) finds a jar with a human brain inside an old creepy murder house.
This discovery sets off a spiralling chain of events deeply rooted in the history of Jamie’s character, the murder house and Jamie’s own grandfather. Without getting too much into spoilers, Piecemeal is Cullen Bunn’s strongest release to date. Which makes sense given the guts of the story was taken from his own experience when he and a close childhood friend discovered human remains in an old abandoned house during his childhood.
Bunn’s writing delves into themes of coming of age, horror, cannibalism and family. This would be the perfect entry into a Blumhouse if Jason Blum had the balls to adapt it. There are plenty of chills and spills to delight the most veteran of Horror fan.
Szymon Kudranski leaves a remarkably imprint on the Horror genre with this release. It’s hardly surprising that the artistic brilliance behind comics like The Punisher and Spawn has pulled out a nightmarish horror comic out of his bag of tricks.
Kudranski’s art is the perfect balance of grit meets dreamscape sequence. Upon picking up Piecemeal you’ll feel like you’re trapped in an inescapable hellscape filled with scares, bumps and impending death at every corner. Kudranski’s work evokes all the right horrific emotions you felt when seeing your very first horror film. And, without being too presumptuous, there’s a jump scare later on in this comic.
How do you achieve a jump scare in a comic book? Well, pick up a copy and find out. Just know that Szymon Kudranski is responsible for every waking nightmare, every night terror and every dollar spent with your therapist.
Szymon Kudranski and Cullen Bunn have created the type of horror story that is untouchable. Although, on one hand Piecemeal is a one shot that will make your inner nerd cry. On the other hand you’ll be thankful the constraints of this 48 Page One Shot gives the kind of finality limiting any further additions the ability to ruin a horror masterpiece.
The result here is a visceral horror story that rivals its horror film contemporaries. Piecemeal tears into the fabric of your soul, discards any preconceived expectations of story and leaves a horror comic as perfect as the genre its written for. If you think you know what truly frightens you – think again!
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