Author/Artist: Dirk Manning and Jeff Welborn
Inker: Chris Dreier
Colorist: Mick Clausen
Letterer: Jim Reddington
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In my search of something new to review for G-POP.net, I discovered a website which features a decent variety of webcomics. There were ten to choose from, but I was in the mood for horror, so I chose to read the 145 pages that currently make up Nightmare World. The format of this series is easy to follow – each issue of the comic book is a full story that is unrelated to the next – so it was easy for me to catch up on the series which is already in its second volume. So how does the horror webcomic match up to the regular comic books out there?
Nightmare World features work from a number of individuals, but the main creator is Dirk Manning. The artwork is not overly impressive, but the use of different color schemes adds affect to the various stories found in this series. Some issues are black and white with a smattering of red for effect. Others are in full color offering a brighter looking story with a darker undertone. The stories themselves are rather unique. As with any series steeped in the horror genre, there’s bound to be some cthulu in there, but they are limited. The writers and artists of Nightmare World are creative enough to present quite a few unique ways to scare their readers.
I found myself favoring four stories in particular: Momma’s Boy, Knees Deep in the Dead, The Day I Tried to Live and Hungry Like the Wolf. In Momma’s Boy, a young man witnesses his mother beaten by his father until he can’t stand to watch anymore. In the midst of a beating session, the boy blacks out. When he awakens, he discovers that he was not merely unconscious. No, something horrible has happened to him and now he wants his revenge. Knees Deep in the Dead is actually a rather funny Friday the 13th spoof. I found The Day I Tried to Live to be quite a unique take on the nightmare aspect. Imagine yourself as a character in a computer game, forced to fight the same fight over and over again, never really quite understanding why you do certain things or go certain places. All you want are answers, but you never quite reach the end of the game. I’ve never looked through the eyes of a video game character before – it gives you something to think about. Hungry Like the Wolf is interesting in that it does not rely on artistic quality or written words to get its story across. This is a boy meets girl, boy turns into werewolf, girl turns into werewolf, boy wolf meets girl wolf, relationship sours sort of nightmare.
Each nightmare presented in the Nightmare World web comic series is a unique undertaking. Some rely heavily on story, others rely heavily on visuals, but the results are the same. Each story keeps you captivated, frame for frame, until you’ve reached the end. The vast differences in each story keep you coming back for more. There is no end to the different types of nightmares these artists can come up with, and thus, no end to the entertainment we can receive from Nightmare World in the years to come.