"Bone Parish #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Jonas Scharf
Colored by Alex Guimaraes
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 29th, 2018
The Winters family is about to enter a turf war. Rival drug cartels are sniffing around, trying to take what’s theirs. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating this strange new drug that’s proving as deadly as it is addicting. See, this drug from the Winters is made from the ashes of the dead and causes the user to relive the deceased’s memories.
If you took out that macabre detail, Bone Parish is a gritty crime comic dealing with loads of personal drama and tension between these characters. There are times you can forget that they’re mining dead people to make drugs. It’s not like it’s the topic of every conversation and even when it does come up, they don’t go into the specifics too often.
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While we don’t have a full understanding of how the drug works, we get glimpses into the process of creating it. This is a rather solemn endeavor as Brigitte sits alone in a basement morgue to work her magic. You get the sense that she’s embraced this solitary environment and has shunned away other human contact.
Bone Parish #2 has a number of flashbacks interspersed within the main story. These show us key moments from some of the main characters’ lives that are giving us an idea of what makes them tick. These events have helped shaped them as people. Colorist Alex Guimaraes shades these with a lighter hue, which works well as they’re memories. It’s like we’re getting a look into the characters’ minds.
Even the lettering is different in these flashbacks. Letterer Ed Dukeshire presents the word balloons in a faded yellow color, adding to the memory aspect of the scenes. It’s a nice touch.
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Brigitte in particular has some skeletons in her closet. As interesting as the gang war aspect of Bone Parish is, I’m becoming more intrigued by her story. We’re led up to a dangerous and frightening moment from her past where she was faced with a terrifying decision. We’re able to fill in the blanks as to what happened with an incredible series of panels. Artist Jonas Scharf does a brilliant job here. The last panel in this sequence speaks volumes.
Bone Parish is like a paranormal version of The Wire. Instead of Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale, we’ve got the Winters family, struggling to keep up with an ever-increasing demand while rival gangs start to hone in on their turf and the feds are circling like vultures. Writer Cullen Bunn is delivering a solid crime story that is amplified by the chilling horror angle.