Creator: Brad Gischia
Colors: Lesley Atlansky
Letters: Zakk Saam
Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes we don’t get exactly what we want. Sometimes a crazy robed figure looking for an occult specialty item invades your town, and you are thrown into things without an invitation or nary a warning.
This is the case for The Curiosity Shop #1’s heroine Petra Kalich, an angsty high school girl with a “don’t give an f” attitude, that doesn’t like school much, has a nagging mother, and is a loner to a T.
Summer is on the horizon, and a job is a must. Petra is on the lookout for a part-time gig that will keep her occupied during the summer, and put a little scratch in her pocket. Petra happens to find employment at a local Curiosity Shop, owned by a Mr. Jay Fischer. The very same Curiosity Shop that the mysterious man that has been creeping around Iron City has given the job of finding an item of great importance.
This item may not only be the key to something sinister, but the key to Petra being thrown into the most dangerous summer of her life.
The Curiosity Shop #1 jumps out of page 1, grabs the reader with two hands and yanks them into the world of the story with no questions asked.
This Salem’s Lot meets Freaks and Geeks story seems tailor made for a guy like me. I love stories that have to do with disenfranchised kids looking for something to do on summer break. Throw in a villain with an occult hobby and I am a complete sucker. Please, take my money.
This type of story is definitely in my wheel house, but what Brad Gishia (writer/artist) does that works so well, is adding texture to an already great genre of story. One of my favorite things about this first installment is that it guides the reader through the introduction of characters organically without hitting you over the head with it.
Another thing I really liked about this comic was the easter eggs. I love looking into the backgrounds, seeing if anything that could other wise have been a throw away detail mean something and connect with me. A few examples: an Avett Brothers name drop, and a movie theater sign that, à la Batman, wouldn’t be complete without a Zorro flick advertised on it (along with The Wizard of Oz, that was released in ’39, the year Batman hit the comic book scene. Is it on purpose? Who knows, but the point is it is fun to think about!). These are the type of thing that will have readers invested even deeper in this story.
The art style captures the essence of the story. It has a fun quality to it that goes well with the punk attitude of Petra. The colors, by Atlansky, have a muted feel were you know it’s not a happy go lucky type of story. The undertone of depression and unhappiness flows through the book, but doesn’t make it a downer to look at.
Overall, The Curiosity Shop #1 is an excellent start to a promising story arc. I’m excited to pick up the next issue and see if the story and characters continue to live up to issue one.
You can pick up, The Curiosity Shop #1 and other DIMTHROAT Comics at dimthroatcomics.storenvy.com
Jonathan Winchester is a writer from Dallas, TX where he lives with his wife Maddie and their annoying cat. He believes Han was the lone shooter, that nothing looks better than a silver age comic in Mylar, and that there is no better feeling than walking into a dimly lit movie theater.