THE DARK FOREVER is Dan Brereton's follow-up to his pulp fiction monster mash, BLACK PLANET, some six years in the making. The Nocturnals, a group of stylish creature feature rejects, are reunited when some "dark menace" is threatening their Pacific City home. Hi-jinx follow, zombies rise from their graves, and strange subterranean creatures threaten our heroes, spelling creepy fun for everyone. And it's all fully painted.
Now, I do have a certain love-hate relationship with painted comics. There's no doubting the amount of effort that goes into them - the notion of painting entire stories in comic book format is a fairly Herculean undertaking, but, more often then not, the final result can be rather lifeless. The skill of a comic book artist, in my opinion, is being able to create the illusion of motion using sequential art - providing us, the reader, with the tools necessary to create moving pictures in our minds. We fill in the gaps between the panels, and it's for this reason alone why comics are a very intimate entertainment medium.
Sometimes when I look at painted comics, though, I'm unable to make that connection with the art. The panels may look great as stand-alone paintings, but when viewed in sequence, it's apparent they're just a series of modeled poses captured perhaps by an accomplished artist, but not necessarily an accomplished storyteller. Fortunately for us, Dan Brereton is both. When the Gunwitch fires his trusty pistols, you can actually hear 'em. When the sea monsters attack (and they will!), you can smell 'em. It's in this fashion that Brereton sucks us into his Nocturnal world and enables us to relish every moment of it. Sure, this ain't Citizen Kane, but Orson Welles could only dream of looking this good.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.