A carnival is headed to town! A supernatural tale, following the arrival of a creepy looking Carnaval in Georgia during the 1920s, filled with all the mysteries and colorful characters of a circus. A fresh face of talent coming from Mad Cave Studios starts off strong with a genuinely heartfelt and intriguing first issue which not only captures the craziness of the carnival but begins to blend it nicely with Show’s End’s supernatural angle. All making for a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Show’s End issue #1 is written by Anthony Cleveland with artwork from Jef Sadinski, Julian Gonzalez and Justin Birch and follows the tale of a traveling carnival, a lost little girl and one or two supernatural attractions. Going into Show’s End I didn’t know what to expect but Show’s End does a wonderful job of not only bringing the feel of a carnival to life but also taking a heartfelt and realistic approach to its characters and blending the supernatural element in nicely. It spends most of its time introducing us to the various faces of the carnival from Vaddy, a psychic mind reader, Flipsy the fantastic pin-head and Dax the carnival’s owner. The story is mainly focused around our main character, Loralye, a stowaway who would rather join the fantastical world of the carnival than live a boring life at home.
The carnival isn’t the only “freakshow” in town, however, and after a couple’s rather bizarre looking child is released onto the world carnage ensues. Without giving too much away, Show’s End is a great first issue which not only introduces us to this wonderful world but makes us feel for the people in it. It does a great job of making all these weird and wonderful characters relatable and teases us with just enough supernatural mystery to get me excited for issue #2.
Show’s End has some pretty cool and creepy characters behind it which feel like the heart and soul of the story. Loralye, a little girl with a dark secret hidden inside, who chooses a life of wonder at the carnival rather than a boring existence back home. I liked what we saw of her here, and I’m very interested to see what her “dark secrets” are exactly. Loralye’s closest friend in the carnival, Flipsy is also really great. She’s handled brilliantly and you really feel for her the more you see her. Once the issue is done introducing us to its characters, it does a great job in its second half of showing how close these “freaks” are and how they are a real family. I hope they expand on that more in the future.
The supernatural side of the story favors mystery and intrigue over quality family bonding time when a mysterious Captain Corley shows up to buy a couple’s rather deformed looking child. He never gets the chance of course and with the beast on the loose, it isn’t just the carnival thats stirring up a fuss in town. I don’t wont to spoil too much for you, but be sure that this thing can kick some serious ass and I cannot wait to see how the story moves it forward.
Show’s End does a wonderful job of bringing alive all the color of a carnival to the comic page. The fair itself feels alive and bright, but the whole issue has these dark undertones which really help set an atmosphere. Show’s End isn’t afraid to go dark either, and it works with the carnival setting and the ridicule these people are receiving thanks to the time period. It hits home, for the most part, thanks to the issues awesome artwork.
Show’s End may be an acquired taste for some, but even if the idea of a supernatural carnival ride isn’t quite your cup of tea its definitely worth the read. There something here for anyone to enjoy, whether its the craziness of the carnival, the supernatural horror or just the plain old kickass action. With a strong first issue, the show is just starting for Show’s End. Had to get one bad pun in somewhere right?