Welcome to the table,
When you have enough TTRPG books, novels, cards, and comics to stock a small store, moving goes from being a stressful undertaking to a daunting task that requires well more than a band of pizza and beer-fueled friends.
Having moved a dragon’s hoard with of written material more than once in my life, I know the pain points that can occur. Having gone through that I can still say that it was nothing compared to what the family in Dark Horse Comics’ Lot 13 goes through.
Written by the always-skilled storyteller Steve Niles, with art by the wildly talented Glenn Fabry, the setup for the story on the surface seems simple enough. A family looking to move to the suburban sprawl of Fairfax, VA arrives at their new home to find it is tented and being fumigated still.
Needing a place to stay for the night, this young couple and their three kids find themselves staying in a mysterious apartment complex that has plenty of room for them to each have their own rooms for the night. As someone who has been through Fairfax many times over the years, I’m not saying hotels that pop up from the space between spaces is out of the question.
That’s it, that’s my comment on it. Northern Virginia has some really weird vibes and late-night trips off the established highways can lead you to all sorts of spaces that may or may not be of the waking world.
Back to the comic.
As the night progresses, the family becomes more desperate to escape the horrors surrounding them running into ghosts from the past and echoes of horrors from deeds done in days gone by. They struggle to find a way out of the apartment complex, but every attempt seems to lead them deeper into danger. The building’s dark history and the malevolent presence lurking within the walls make it all too clear that the family’s not alone.
Each page turn will have you asking will the family make it out alive, or if will they become the next victims of the apartment complex’s dark past. The story does a great job managing the suspense as the living fight for survival against the supernatural forces that inhabit the spaces around them.
The story is fun, and while it seems it is going to start off on a traditional foot, it goes to some cool places that I was not expecting. The dialog feels natural in a way that feels like something I would hear in a day-to-day conversation. There is a line in this book that is literally “These comics books, my 40-year-old husband, are heavier than any piece of furniture we own.” My wife has said something similar many times over the years. I am down to 20 long boxes… she’s still not wrong.
The art is haunting and at times grotesque in a way that could easily turn off more squeamish readers but as far as torn flesh, exposed bone, and dripping blood goes, it is nothing short of a masterclass in how to do horror on the page correctly. From dirty teeth to running makeup to stained clothes the attention to detail and the importance of form and shading is ever-present in the work. It really is a beautiful book you could spend hours just flipping through.
Lot 13 is easily one of the best horror comics I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent years. The story is full of twists and turns that feel intentional, the pacing is fantastic and the art is otherwordly and haunting.
In closing, Steve Niles and Glenn Fabry’s Lot 13 is a masterclass in horror storytelling. If you’re a fan of stories like The Shining, The Conjuring, or those hauntingly fun classic horror comics, Lot 13 will be a welcomed addition to your collection.
Until next time, don’t stray too far off the well-traveled paths in Virginia there are far too many unexplainable things out there and none of us are trying to get stuck in the between-spaces.
Welcome to the table, When you have enough TTRPG books, novels, cards, and comics to stock a small store, movingCOMICONRead More