Gideon Falls Vol. 1 Explains Why It Makes A Great TV Show

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Gideon Falls Vol. 1 collects Gideon Falls #1-6 and this arc shows you why Hivemind would enter a bidding war for the TV rights. The brainchild of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino blends urban horror and nightmarish imagery to create a small town mystery for the ages. If you’re a fan of questioning your own reality, you’ll feel right at home with this cult classic. 

Image Comics, 2018

The plot follows two people with two different storylines. Beyond those two, there are a secret few who seek to learn about the mysterious Black Barn. It leads to an obsession that isolates them from society, but many can’t go back after their encounters. In the city, there’s Nolan who has a litany of mental disorders that makes the reader question whether the search for the Black Barn is a fool’s quest conducted a mentally ill man.

On a different note, in the countryside, there’s also a Catholic priest Father Wilfred who comes to Gideon Falls. He deals with the strange case of his predecessor Father Tom. Father Wilfred must choose between believing in the madness or rejecting its pull. As he falls deeper into the lives of his flock, he questions his true role in his new home.

Gideon Falls Vol. 1 Will Make You Collect Trash

I can tell the writing is great because I remember the smaller details. As a person who gets confused easily, I know the character’s names without having to look back at the source material. You find that the dialogue is all so distinct, due to the differences in the characters’ backgrounds.

My one wish is for more backstory for everyone. While Nolan and Father Wilfred did obtain quite a lot, the characters surrounding them are less developed. Their interactions with others are interesting, but they have yet to grow beyond their careers or use within the story. Despite the tropes they align with in the beginning, I do believe the connections between the characters are honest without being contrived. They have the potential to be more than they are in subsequent volumes. 

Image Comics, 2018

Even if they’re all different, yet stereotypical for the first arc, they have a strong interconnected story.  They all have interactions that make sense to their motivations. Their actions push the story of Gideon Falls Vol. 1 forward without relying on any forced narratives. There isn’t any bloat to the first six issues that could hinder the horror. You feel the strength of the storytelling burning in the back of your throat. As you anticipate the appearance of the Black Barn, you’re enjoying the few answers the writer gives you.

The Black Barn hangs like an apparition over the entire arc. You experience this building in a number of different ways: through dreams, through hosts of its influence, and through your own mind. When it does come to the reader in its truest form, you find that the Black Barn is not a disappointment. The reveal is as good as it is in your own imagination. 

Photographic Comic Book Art In Gideon Falls Vol. 1

The layout of Gideon Falls Vol. 1 is unique as the issues progress. I like how the art falls in tandem with the story because they don’t outshine each other. I appreciated the almost photo-like quality of the placement of the buildings and items in the background. This style contributes to how everything is almost normal. It’s almost about a small town with secrets, almost the ravings of half-crazed men, but there are the beginnings of a plot that goes beyond those confines. The art adds a bit of reality in what people consider insane and there is a kernel of truth in insanity.

If I had a few complaints, the appearances of the characters aren’t the most unique except for Nolan. The writing makes up for this deficiency a bit within the dialogue, but it also contribute to the problem.  I find that everyone follows the trend of what a stereotypical priest, cop, or punk looks like. It’s not a bad trait if you’re into realism, but it’s a point of notice for those who enjoy unique character designs.

Image Comics, 2018

It feels like a continuous nitpick, but it’s my article. I do find that the placement of the bubbles makes some of the pages seem busy. In addition to the business, there’s a lot to read within one bubble. I did have to reread a couple of times for clarity because it took a moment to process. 

Should You Buy Gideon Falls Vol. 1?

If you’re a fan of creepypastas or the SCP wiki, you’ll want a crack at Gideon Falls Vol. 1 before the in-development television show is up and running. This volume is a great experience for those who love a slow-burn reveal, yet it also continues to create a compelling story, even during the wait.

This story does work better in an entire volume as opposed to getting the story issue-by-issue. Beyond meeting my standards, Gideon Falls Vol. 1 has earned its high praise from others for a reason. It’s a strong piece that doesn’t fall into the pothole of being pretentious. I find that by looking through this volume that it can help me picture the potential of the TV series. 

Gideon Falls Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
Eat Your Heart Out Cthulhu
Gideon Falls Vol. 1 is a great way to read this slow-burn, urban horror that asks you to follow your demons all the way into the Black Barn.

November Book 1 Cover under Image Comics, 2019.
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