Campfire Stories is the latest 28-page horror comic from writer Asa Wheatley and a team of artists, featuring the talents of Kevin Keane, Garry Mac, Raquel Kusiak, Sammy Ward and Elena Gogou. The lovely cover is by Natasha Alterici and lettering by Lucas Gattoni. Campfire Stories had a successful run on Kickstarter back in Oct 2019. You can read our interview with Asa to learn more about the inspiration and process behind Campfire Stories.
There’s not a lot I can say in terms of details about the comic itself, as it would be too spoiler-y and ruin the surprise twist. I can safely report, however, that the story drags you into the world and I enjoyed reading Campfire Stories immensely, despite the fact that horror was never my favorite genre.
The concept of the comic itself is simple. Telling stories around the campfire is a past-time used in many mediums of the horror genre in movies and television shows especially. Despite the simple concept, the story itself is expertly written and flows extremely well from one story to the next. The stories told around the campfire spanned more than 80 years and hint at a deep history. The twist was well-done that I didn’t see it coming and those are the best kinds of twist! The “Epilogue” brought it all together, leaving an appropriately spooky open-ending.
In Campfire Stories, the visuals are the key to making this comic appropriately scary to draw the reader into the setting of the summer camp and the surrounding woods. Narration and the dialogue lets the art tell the story. All in all the artists did an excellent job bringing the script to life on the pages of the comic.
“Sitting by the Fire” by the artist Kevin Keane is expressive and lovely detailed art, which is the backdrop to the rest of the stories as this is the setting where the five counselors sit around the fire and tell stories. “Hungry for More” by the artist Garry Mac gave us muted colors with the same details that brought the story to life. “The Starving Spectre” by artist Raquel Kusiak’s trees were fabulous background. I’m a sucker for a good haunting forest in the background giving this tale a dark atmosphere.
“A Ritual of Sacrifice & Power” by artist Sammy Ward was set in the 1960s and the style very much reminded me of that age’s comic art style. The blood in this section was not bright red, but a dark red, which I liked. “Epilogue” artist Elena Gogou had a good blend of darker colors and backgrounds and very expressive characters.
The only downside to the comic was that it had to end. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the ending. Due to the fact that there’s a deep history embedded into Campfire Stories, there is an opportunity for more tales to come. I would recommend this comic, even if you don’t like horror or spooky stories, because it’s just that good of a story.