Graphic Novel Review: Echoes

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov

Artwork: Rahsan Ekedal

Publisher: Image Comics-Minotaur Press


By Nolan P. Smith

(Victor Valley)–A good horror story is hard to find, there is no doubt about it. What passes as a horror movie in this day and age is a gore-filled, filth ridden, special effects mosh pit with hardly a plot to follow. What happened to those stories that would genuinely creep you out to the point where you didn’t want to open you eyes at night? Well, one of the best horror stories I have come across lately is right here, and yes, it is a comic book.

Design: The hardcover collection of Echoes is a beautiful, eerie package. The book measures a smaller size than most comic book collections, and is covered in a unique, panel-like die cut dust jacket. A very slick and polished overall feel.

Story: The story of Echoes is that of Brian Cohn, a troubled man dealing with schizophrenia that was passed on from his father. With his father on his deathbed, Brian learns of a terrible secret; his father was a serial killer of young girls, and kept creepy trophies of all of his victims. While trying to be supportive for his wife and baby on the way, as well as trying to remember to take his medication to silence the voices in his head, Brian heads down a dark path, one that he is desperately trying to fight out of.

Echoes gets inside your head and heart, as the emotions and traumas Brian faces seem so real, like they literally spring to life right off of the page. The build up from chapter to chapter is excellent, as are the characters, the plot and the pacing of the tale. Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov really roots the reader in this world, going through every twist and turn that the protagonist goes through.

Art: Rahsan Ekedal provides the crisp, black and white artwork to the book, perfectly matching the mood evoked in the story. His 2 page spreads of panels are powerful, and the use of word balloons fading in and out to re-create the voices Brian hears in his head is ingenious. The black and white world portrayed here makes the book feel like an old, classic, black and white horror flick, something that hasn’t been done in the comic world all too often.

Overall: This is the first book I read that after 2 chapters, I literally felt sick to my stomach. That should tell you the power in Fialkov’s script, as his words ring so true to real life that they actually caused a physical reaction to the reader. Schizophrenia is a hard topic to touch on, but the book shows how badly it can affect someone, especially when they are late on their medication. It also shows the secrets that many keep from all, and how they can cause a domino effect to all those nearby. Highly Recommended, I give Echoes a **** out of 5.

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