Kickstart The Art And Review: THE RATTLER


rattler coverWelcome to another edition of Kickstart the Art, the semi-regular feature where we shine the spotlight on cool and interesting Kickstarter projects you need to know about. Today’s entry is unique due to the fact I was lucky enough to read the full and finished project already. We’re looking at a thriller/horror series “in the vein of John Carpetner and Dario Argento” called The Rattler. It’s an atmospheric thriller from writer Jason McNamara (you may remember me gushing over another one of his stories called Short Hand) and artist Greg Hinkle (Glory and the upcoming Image Comics series Airboy).

Before we give you a mini-review of the story, here’s how McNamara and Hinkle describe it on their Kickstarter page:

Stephen thought he’d never hear his lover’s voice again. Until she spoke to him through a dead man’s mouth.
10 years have passed since Stephen Thorn’s fiancée vanished without a trace, and he has grown into a prominent, if bitter, victim’s rights crusader. Despite the cold trail and lack of leads, he stubbornly refuses to give up the search. And then…he begins to hear her voice in the strangest of places.
Pursued by his own organization and questioning his sanity, Stephen embarks on a grisly journey to save his long-lost love. As he unravels the truth of her disappearance, the body count rises and Stephen finds himself ensnared in a trap that had been set for him long ago…

Stephen Thorn and his fiancée Catherine were traveling down an old country road one day when they had some car trouble. They decide to wait it out in the hopes that another car will pass their way. One does. While they hoped they found a Good Samaritan, they actually ended up running into a crazy woman who left Stephen behind after injuring Catherine and running off with her. Ten years later Stephen has become a successful writer and victims’ advocate. The Thorn Law has cracked down on all manner of crimes, and while it has made Thorn a successful writer and talking head on the news programs, he isn’t very well liked by some of the public, especially the criminal element. When one of Thorn’s criminal admirers jumps bail, the writer quickly finds himself thrown into a weird and horrific series of events that may finally give him the answers he’s so desperately sought for ten years.

McNamara writes an absolutely fantastic story. This is a supernatural crime thriller that has a dash of Stephen King’s Misery, a touch of Jason Aaron’s crime sensibilities, and a scoop of the aforementioned John Carpenter. Things are fast-paced and feel coincidental toward the middle, but you quickly start to discover why things are happening the way they are. This is a complete story, but it leaves you with questions. No, it haunts you with questions and circumstances that we’re not meant to understand. This is a truly fantastic piece of work from McNamara that delivers on all fronts. Hinkle’s art really elevates the story. His slightly exaggerated style keeps it from being completely horrific while still offering up plenty of thrills and chills. The use of grayscale with only red highlights really adds to the suspense and drama. You can’t help but flip the pages to see what happens next, but once you’re through you can’t help but go back and study Hinkle’s art.

The project is completed. The only thing left to is print it and ship it. This is one of the most complete and well-presented Kickstarters we’ve run across in a good long while. If any of this tickled your fancy, you have very little risk if you want to contribute. The only negative thing I can say about the story is that I wished it was longer.  Things aren’t drawn, and it’s a tight story, but when a story is this good you can’t help but want a few more pages. You can read up on the project by checking out the Kickstarter page here. This one gets our seal of approval, so check it out and see if it’s a good fit for you.

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