Writer: Alex Child and Grant Morrison / Artist: Naomi Franquiz / Boom! Studios
The opening page of Proctor Valley Road #3 opens with this perfect encapsulation of the characters. Each of the main cast are postured perfectly conveying their personality and demeanor as their principal berates them. From the start, Child and Morrison capture the all too familiar dialog of high school as Franquiz’s art, Bonvillain’s colors, and Campbell’s letters let the words flourish on the page. Proctor Valley Road continues to fill a must wanted niche in camp period horror, and the issue only confirms what we already know about the 70’s: the hypothetical safety of a group of boys outweighs the actual legitimate concerns of a group of girls.
After multiple supernatural encounters, our cadre finally enter into the investigative portion of every good horror story only to discover that research is a difficult endeavor. We get to see old school newspaper readers in the library, and an enigmatic librarian who manages to fill in the blanks. This venture from Morrison and Child is very tight, and the exposition of the unknown is interlaced with depictions of the familiar, such as August dealing with her mother having a new boyfriend. This type of back and forth, give and take, results in a well-balanced story that also gives Franquiz and Bonvillain ample opportunity to flex and distinguish scenes with the lighting and angles.
I adore the foreboding chapter title. I adore how quickly everything moves. I adore the interactions with the cast and how the comic manages to cover so much ground so efficiently. It’s an excellent blend and execution of various tropes that make turning the page effortless. It’s a weirdly wonderful book that progressively entrenches us deeper into this world, and if you’re a fan of horror, this is a series you should be reading single issues if you’re capable.
Proctor Valley Road in its short run has managed to capture my heart between its endearing cast of characters and the general mystique of the world. The fantastical horror elements have Morrison’s signature feel to them and their writing alongside Child’s and Franquiz’s artwork has resulted in a fantastic period piece, a fantastic speculative piece, and just a solid comic all around.
9.1 “Joy Rides” out of 10
Enjoying Proctor Valley Road? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.