Comics Features Reviews

“Bird Feeder” Is A New Graphic Novel That Is Anything But Black-And-White

While it may be inked in these colors, Bird Feeder is a new graphic novel that is anything but black-and-white. What turns into a somber tale of loss and loneliness becomes a murder mystery—and, eventually a horror novel! Which of course is, as you know, right up my alley! This all leads to a cliff-hanger that steers the story on a path towards an inevitable showdown with our main character, Grady Masters.

Ryan Oliver writes Bird Feeder with an extensive past in storytelling as a filmmaker, writer, FX artist, actor, and over twenty years of experience in the film/tv industry. The beautifully black-and-white illustrations by Rosario accompanies the publication by Blind Cyclops Books. The story starts off right away with a mystery. Grady Masters finds his wife Viola missing with a pool of blood leading up to his door. What is once a quiet and peaceful marriage ends in a nightmare. This leaves Grady spiralling in grief over the presumed death of his wife. 

As a way of coping with everything, Grady decides to write to his wife through many journal entries. Through these entries, we see in Grady’s narration how he slowly uncovers something happening in the Masters’ garden. It’s a garden that contains an aviary, which houses and feeds a wide range of bird species. For years, Viola has taken care of the garden as Grady stayed inside.

This all leads to a horrible secret towards the middle of Bird Feeder; a secret that his wife has kept hidden from him for years and recorded in her own journal. Which in turn might have led to her disappearance. There’s something in the garden; some kind of bloodthirsty creature that will attack anything that crosses its path, particularly birds. It grabs and drags its victims to the bottom of the earth, dragging them all the way to where no one can hear their screams.

Overall, through Bird Feeder, Oliver gives us one of the more heartfelt, horror novels of recent memory. The reader feels both the grief and the sense of betrayal that Grady feels when realizing that his wife kept this horrible secret. Which eventually turns into a thirst for revenge and a commitment to rid the earth of this creature. All the while, Rosario does a great job of showing only the slivers of the monster throughout Bird Feeder. In Jaws or, more recently, in Cloverfield-like fashion. It’s the concept and the carnage the monster causes that are more important. This prompts the reader to imagine some of the most horrific visuals of a carnivorous, underground creature.

To sum it up, Bird Feeder is one of the more unique graphic horror novels to come out of late. There’s a lot to take in with this piece; there’s so much more story to tell as Grady searches for this creature. So, let’s hope it continues! This is a monster that may be rooted to the ground, but it’s not confined to a little shop in New York. Also can’t carry a tune. Read the novel and you’ll understand the reference!

If you want to see how you can purchase Bird Feeder, you can check out this link right here. What are your favorite creature-feature graphic novels and films? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Dylan FIne