Image Comics’ new anthology Twisted Romance (with work by Alex de Campi, Katie Skelly, Sarah Horrocks, and Megan Cubed) offers up three very unique, genre-bending and, multi-medium takes on the concept of love.
Twisted Romance #1
Stories by: Alex de Campi, Sarah Horrocks, and Magen Cubed
Art by: Katie Skelly, Sarah Horrocks, and Magen Cubed
Published by: Image Comics
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes this strange and intriguing new anthology of love stories (also bonded by the presence of the supernatural). This issue features three stories: the comic Old Flames by Alex de Campi & Katie Skelly, Leather & Lace (a prose story) by Magen Cubed, and Red Medusa by Sarah Horrocks, a more experimental type of comic tale.
This piece of comics storytelling takes up the bulk of the page count and is considered the main feature. Old Flames is a dark story told deceptively cartoonish. A tale about succubus type beings drawn with the energy and pop of a bright cartoon or webcomic. Alex de Campi writes what on the surface seems like a horror story or revenge fantasy (and those elements are there) but when looked at deeper has themes of loneliness, regret, and redemption. Old Flames is also an entertaining read with a couple of good plot twists. It looks and feels great with all the expressive, bright and colorful images that came out of Katie Skelly’s pen. Old Flames is great. It’s short, fast, a little dark and kinda sweet.
Leather & Lace
Leather & Lace is a prose story, yet it still feels like it belongs in this comic anthology as writer Magen Cubed uses some good descriptive visuals to create some great images in your head and has some strong dialog. It’s also a story that combines romance and the supernatural; in this case two star-crossed, love-eyed monster hunters. Leather & Lace is actually the most ‘romantic’ of the three and giving away too much would spoil the fun but it is safe to say it will leave you smiling.
Red Medusa is the most bizarre entry, as it plays loose with its narrative, its art and pretty much everything else in its arsenal. Sarah Horrocks creates some really eye-catching figures and panels that bring to mind Bill Sienkiewicz (New Mutants) and some Melinda Gebbie (Lost Girls) too. There is a mixed texture and media look to the art that makes it tangible. Red Medusa may have to be read a few times to decipher a narrative but that’s the point in a comic with art like this.
Twisted Romance is the kind of comic that is important for the medium. It offers new genres and mashups in interesting ways by unique creators, truly living up to its name. The first issue, with its three tales, has something for just about anyone.