Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Horror-Mood: New England Gothic #1 (Visigoth Studio, 1986)

Visigoth Studio was a short lived studio based in Westbrook Maine, and their only claim to fame was this two-issue series titled New England Gothic. With the story written and elegantly penciled by Tom Brown, New England Gothic #1 begins the tale set in the fictional town of Seths Neck on the coast of Maine. Brown sets up the story nicely with a map of Seths Neck detailing the area, from the woods of the Black Bog in the North, to the Cemetery near Black's Cove in the South. Check out the map below:

The story focuses on Seths Neck, and how it had suffered an evil curse long ago that had killed the town's population and left Seths Neck to become a ghost town hidden among an evil mist. A priest named Reverend Davies attempts to exorcize the demons of the town, but is tempted and killed by the beautiful Succubus within.

A ghost by the name of Spears contacts the Reverend Davies son Mordred, and upon learning of his father's death, makes his way to Seths Neck and meets a girl on the bus named Morgan who joins him along the way. When they arrive, Mordred gives his father a proper burial and is faced with the beauty of the Succubus, but is saved by Spears' undead dog named Drury.

The group soon finds that Spears' son Donald has been possessed by a demon, and only the stagnant water of Blacks Pond can cure him. Mordred and Spears head to Black Bog, where they are met by the witch Magdalene and her two vampire guards. Mordred is able to kill the vampires thanks to a makeshift crossbow and a lucky gold-cross earring, and is able to escape with the water.

The pair return and are able to exorcize the demon from Donald, but the Succubus had been growing in power while they were gone. Morgan suggests trying to condition Mordred to resist the Succubus' power of temptation, and devises a plan to help him. Finally Mordred is ready, and heads to the cemetery alone, ready to face the Succubus.

The Succubus proves to be too powerful for Mordred to resist, and as he begins to fall into eternal slumber, the witch Magdalene appears and destroys the Succubus with a bolt of lightning, telling Mordred he is hers now. But since it's All Hallows Eve, she must let him go. Mordred returns home exhausted, and falls asleep in Morgan's arms to live another day.

The first issue of New England Gothic was a great read. The story was original and well done, and most of the artwork was fantastic and really set the tone for the story. I have yet to read the second issue, but it's going on my want list, as these kind of stories are the perfect kind to read in October.


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