4 Stars. Trigger warnings for suicide, extreme gore and violence, rich entitled assholes.
I was so intrigued by Hill House Comics’ selection when it first crossed my path. This horror comic pop-up, started by Joe Hill and housed at DC, offers an eye-catching collection with great cover art, great summaries, and great names attached! I was very excited when I was approved for the ARCs by Netgalley. And the first collection, Basket Full of Heads, did not disappoint.
Story by Joe Hill, Basket Full of Heads is a gory, campy adventure full of twists and humor along with the appropriate horrors. June goes to visit her boyfriend Liam in the sleepy fishing town of Brody Island where he’s working as a part-time cop over the summer. They’re having dinner with his boss when word that four escaped convicts are on the loose, reigning terror on civilians. As her boyfriend’s boss leaves with the other full-time cops on the force, the four escapees break into the boss’ house and attack June and Liam. They kidnap Liam and whisk him away, leaving June to fight off one remaining escapee herself. Luckily Liam’s boss has a huge collection of old Viking artifacts stored in the house, including weapons. June gets her hands on an axe, but it doesn’t exactly do its job quite as one would expect.
This collection of issues #1-7 was well paced, very funny, and incredibly entertaining. It reminded me of all the things I love about ridiculous ’80s slashers. I also appreciated that it was a one-and-done, so to speak. I don’t need to hunt down more issues or wait for them to come out. The entire story is contained in this one volume, and it wraps up very nicely! The artwork is likewise excellent and fits the story incredibly well. I tip my hat to Leomacs (Illustrator), Riccardo La Bella (Illustrator), Dave Stewart (Colorist), and Deron Bennett (Letterer).
I appreciated June as a main character. She is brave, savvy, capable, and full of love for herself and those near and dear to her. That is not to say she is naive. Despite being accused of that multiple times, June proves herself to be otherwise. In fact, when the gaping maw of the patriarchy comes for June in a painful and hurtful way, she does not hesitate to take action and fight for herself and all the women wronged by evil men. I have to applaud Joe Hill for his character work across the board, but especially with June.
Basket Full of Heads is the first installment of Joe Hill’s Hill House Comics pop-up. Next up is my most highly anticipated installment: The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado, out 09/28/20.
Out 09/08/20. Thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for providing the ARC.