By Joe Glass
Mike Garley is back again with another creation to share on the UK Indie comics' scene, once again in the horror genre, but with a very different feel.
The Samurai Slasher starts with a story that is very reminiscent of 1980s style teen-slasher films, with all the usual tropes: dislikeable lead characters, various social and moral indiscretions revealed just before an inevitable slaughter, even a creepy old man with a mysterious warning. The art style on this story, by Andy W. Clift, works really well with this style of story too, being reminiscent of comic style from that era too.
The rest of the comic includes three other stories that kind of take the Samurai Slasher story and concept in mildly different directions. One feels almost like a prequel, or online mini film connected to the main movie. Another feels like a 90s made sequel to the original chop-happy slash-fest. And the final story feels like when the sequels have gone so far down the line they've become bigger, more audacious, and more ludicrous in the action contained.
All of which is to say the comic succeeds in two different ways: it's fun and interesting and a great read; and it successfully explores the thematic premise of the concept to the fullest extent.
Many creators or comics would have done this over the course of several releases, taking a full comic on each style, but The Samurai Slasher presents us with this all in one book, which is fun as a concept but also allows a reader a full and complete experience of what potential the concept has.
The other artists involved in the series all present some really great work. Gavin Mitchell brings a lot of energy to his story, as well as a higher level of style that fits nicely in with the mythical story. Kristina Gee brings a very modern style of comic art to her short, whilst Wynn Ryder's art style is much more impressionistic and completely different to all the others; it kind of has a graffiti feel to it, which was really interesting to see.
The Samurai Slasher is a fun, self-contained, concept comic that lays down a full package for the study of the genre and lays groundwork for exploring this story and concept even further if desired. If not, you have everything you need right here to enjoy a fantastic, at times silly, fun and gory comic experience.
The Samurai Slasher is a comics anthology currently funding on Kickstarter.
Joe Glass is the creator and writer of LGBT superhero team series, The Pride, available on Comixology and The Pride Store. He also co-write Welsh horror comedy series, Stiffs, available now on Comixology and the Stiffs Store.