Little Girl, Big Scare: Devil's Due Comics Debuts New Horror Title

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Little Girl #1

I've watched more than my share of horror titles over the years, and the most terrifying ones weren't the ones with slashers or monsters, but where the source of fear was a child. And not necessarily the ones involving Damien or Regan or Rosemary's baby (although they absolutely scared!), but just evil children. MacCauley Culkin's THE GOOD SON was chilling in that respect.

Abby May might just qualify for that special class of frighteners, although her ghostly status certainly gives her an advantage.

Pat Shand (ROBYN HOOD) and Olivia Pelaez (THE KITCHEN WITCH) team up to tell the story of a haunted stuffed penguin.

No, come back. I'm being serious!

The first chapter of the story centers on a married couple who have been avoiding infidelity issues. She's cheating on him, he's cheating on her, and they're both making overtures at reconciliation -- but not too hard, as they're still seeing other people when she gets the gift of the stuffed penguin from her husband, who's across the country on business.

The bad news is that he tasked his brother to find something "penguiny" because he knows his wife loves the little buggers. And the brother picked this up on the cheap at a thrift store, which means it was pre-owned...and the original owner is kind of still attached to it, despite her being dead.

That's when the haunting begins, starting with the dreams of Abby May's baptismal drowning at the hands of her zealous parents. These are followed by more physical manifestations, enough to scare the wife into hopping a plane to go join her husband in his hotel room. But she finds there is no amount of distance she can travel that will carry her away from Abby May's restless spirit.

LITTLE GIRL is not a book that is overly written -- it doesn't need a lot of text to set things up and get readers into the proper frame of mind. Shand lets the story tell itself, and pull the reader along slowly, using the sequence of pictures and actions more than any narrative. Pelaez's stark linework and the muted color palette ratchet up the anxiety factor and suspense.

If you're the type of person who needs a good eight hours of sleep to be productive, this is not the book you want to read before going to bed. Or even in the morning before. In fact, best to save it for when you know someone else is going to be home watching over you. You can't be too safe about these things.

 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0