Some teenagers get zits and boners, but unluckily for Winnie Cruddup she gets lots of body hair and a nasty overbite.
The Scares #1, from Montreal-based comic creator Larissa Thomas, is the kind of indie comic that spares no time in proudly celebrating its influences. In the first few pages alone Larissa provides readers with a subtle nod to Return of the Living Dead while setting the stage for the chaos that is about to ensue. Instead of relying on that setup for a story simply about zombies, however, the creator switches gears by introducing a werewolf into the mix.
It’s here that we are introduced to the story’s main cast in the form of Winnie Cruddup; Lisa Chang, her best friend; and Curtis, the blonde son of a brewmaster (that’s beer people). There are a few other supporting characters like Trip, the dim-witted hillbilly with copious amounts of butt acne, and Sheena Welch, Winnie’s biological mother. As the protagonist, Winnie is a teenager just shy of 17 years old who seems to be having more problems than just puberty including the fact that her mother may (or may not) be a werewolf. It’s sort of a weird mix of Daria and Ginger Snaps, but it works.
Add to that a subplot that includes tainted beer, killer rats and zombies and there’s a lot that happens in the span of the issue’s 37 pages. Much to her credit, Larissa manages to keep everything from becoming confusing, or worse, dull. Most of the main characters are given enough time for us to “get to know them” beyond typical teenage stereotypes while the rest we can assume will become bodybags sometime soon. I’m particularly interested at this point in learning more about Winnie’s mother and how she became a lycanthrope (or if she really is one).
Visually, Larissa definitely gives the book here own style. It’s one full of rough edges and stiff anatomy that didn’t really appeal to me at first, but that I became accustomed to. That isn’t to infer the artwork is bad, to the contrary there were a few standout panels as the book progresses, and as a whole package the art appropriate fits the story being told. While I admittedly might have overlooked this title on the store shelf, The Scares offers the beginnings of a great story and all for only $.99 – great deal for fans of any film mentioned above!