Now that Clown Town is available digitally via comiXology, let’s revisit a couple of reviews of the story from our past! We have some other reviews coming up soon, but these were the first for Clown Town. So, check’em out, and, if you like what you read, get a digital copy of Clown Town at:
August 9, 2011
WeeklyComicBookReview.com – Dean Stell
The Stories: Clowns on a murderous rampage.
Review: There are probably two types of people in the world: Those who think clowns are funny and those who think they’re kinda creepy. Given how frequently clowns have turned up in horror stories over the years, there are obviously quite a few people in the latter camp.
If you’re a fan of the horror/slasher genre (and particularly the clown horror sub-genre), you’ll probably get quite a kick out of Clown Town from Inverse Press. The story does have a twist at the end, but the plot is pretty basic: clowns on a rampage killing people. Now, what makes it unique and effective horror is that the comic isn’t pulling any punches.
In the first real scene of the comic, the clowns bust into a house and attack a nasty, redneck couple. As a reader, you don’t really know what to expect: “Maybe the clowns will take them hostage???” Nope, the clowns go straight for the throat-slitting. It isn’t shown in a way that is exploitive with arterial blood spurting across the page. In fact, the actual cutting kinda happens off panel. But, there is no doubt after this first scene that the clowns will kill you and they won’t waste a lot of time with monologues or explaining their motives. In fact, the clowns are mostly non-verbal uttering nothing but stylized word balloons that contain sounds more than words.
The comic just kinda runs from there as we follow the clowns’ rampage and a young girl that is caught up in the middle of the mayhem. But, the creators are to be commended for having a pretty simple and pure concept for their comic. That’s really important with an truly indie comic like Clown Town where the creators have to not only grab your attention with issue #1 and make you want issue #2, but also give you a pretty complete package in the first issue. Given the economics of creating comics, it can be a long time before issue #2 comes out (if it ever does). With Clown Town #1, we definitely want a second issue, but they haven’t created that desire by giving us a first issue that feels incomplete.
Artistically the comic is really nice. I actually became aware of Clown Town having met Amanda Rachels at HeroesCon 2011 (where she did this nice Emma Frost for me), so I knew that she could draw and could work in the slightly cartoony style that I enjoy, but Clown Town shows that she can really handle sequential storytelling too. She makes very good use of establishing shots to clarify the action and her slightly cartoony style actually works better than I thought it would for this subject matter. Because her work is slightly cartoony, it allows her to get closer to the brutal side of horror without the effect being too much. For example, if you had a more visceral indie artist (say, Toby Cypress) illustrate this same subject matter it might kick ass, but it also would run the risk of being too violent to appeal to many readers. Rachels also handles the coloring duties and while the colors aren’t flat, they are pretty close to it. She adds a little bit of surface shading to the colors, but keeps it to a minimum and uses it effectively whereas many full-time colorists screw shading up. She obviously spent a lot of time on getting the colors right.
Conclusion: All in all, this comic was a treat. It isn’t a perfect comic, but it has a compelling story and nice art. If you’re looking for a little more horror in your comic diet, you should definitely check it out. It’s also well worth supporting new creators who are actually creating comics rather than just talking about how they’d like to create comics.
CLICK HERE to Purchase the Clown Town Graphic Novel on comiXology!
February 5, 2012
ComicPrivy.com – Ron Kerronian
If you like Showtime’s Dexter or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, you’ll like Clown Town. Clowns are often KNOWN for three things: making people laugh, funny make-up, and corny tricks – in this book, clowns give a new meaning to all three…
It’s hard to believe that such a cute smile and innocent-looking face could ever come up with a story such as Clown Town. Clown Town is a story of about, well – Clowns. However, you’ve never met clowns like these before, and I pray you never find yourself the “kind” of prey they are designed to hunt. Yes, these are hunters that hunt child abusers – no one escapes whether guilty, accessory, or irresponsible bystander…if you are a part of the abuse and not the solution, “Bozo” whacks ya…
This idea is genius, because, think about it, what comes to mind when you think of clowns – happy, well-meaning, entertaining adults that dress in make-up to make kids happy and laugh…well, these clowns are not in that business; they are in the business of making bad parents pay, and pay they do, often with their lives, but not before Bozo here has his laugh. I know it seems odd that a bunch of renegade clowns would be the ones coming to the aid of a child, but, as the book lays it out, they are almost like costumed heroes with a twist.
This book seeks to smash perceptions of clowns as innocent creatures fit for nothing more than entertainment, and it transforms them into avenging Angels who bring vicious, although humorous, violence to a certain kind of human. The theme, I think, feeds the desire many solid citizens wish they could make happen to child offenders, to be punished beyond measure. These clowns are the judge, jury, and, albeit unconventional, executioners. Each offender is dealt with in a uniquely planned (these clowns seem to use conventional means, sting operations and child decoy methods in use on popular TV shows such as To Catch a Predator) and grotesque manner.
Think for a moment, what would happen if offenders were afraid to close their eyes at night, knowing that, if they do, an avenging clown would stuff them like a balloon animal. How many times have you heard of a child that has been victimized on the news or in your own neighborhood and yet you did or could do nothing. This book is a safe, healthy way to live out those avenging fantasies without getting your hands bloodied or becoming an abuser yourself…”An Awesome Read.”
This issue from a rating system of “A-F,” I give a solid “A”. This rating is awarded [because] this book delves into very common social issues regarding child victims, and it uses clowns as the vigilantes many of us wish we could be (except with the crazy make-up red nose and over-sized floats for shoes).