T Pub £8.99 Website
Reviewed by Jay Eales
I have to confess to being a latecomer to this particular party. I had heard good things about Twisted Dark, first publication from T Pub, and the début for writer/publisher Neil Gibson, yet somehow never quite managed to pick up a copy. Scanning the list of contributors, I found none I was familiar with except for Ant Mercer, who I collaborated with a few years ago. A quick flick through the pages shows a range of artists, some better than others but all of them good, their varying styles appropriate to the material they are presenting.
The stories themselves seem at first reading to be completely self-contained, with – there’s that word again – twisted denouements. No supernatural menaces within these pages, just good old wholesome human monsters. Some tales work better than others, and some telegraph their twists from high orbit, but others genuinely come as a shock to the system. The cast of characters is as international as the artists at work, and it’s refreshing to see such different perspectives sharing pages together. It’s surprising to discover that this is Neil Gibson’s début work in the comics medium. Sure, there are a few teething troubles with Twisted Dark volume one, such as a handful of typographical errors and slightly uneven lettering, but I have the first edition, and I understand that there is a revised second edition which undoubtedly fixes such tiny glitches. Gibson manages to walk the line between informing the reader about illnesses such as Münchhausen’s Syndrome or the plight of modern slavery without coming over as preachy, in a way that many much more established authors would do well to emulate.
The big plus point to having discovered the dark joys of Twisted Dark so late is that there are several further volumes in the series already out in the wild, just waiting to be plucked. A poke around the T Pub website informs me that each story does connect with the others, and with each successive volume, the story threads begin to tie together. I’m intrigued to find out how Gibson will achieve this, so I’m definitely climbing aboard the T Pub express. Roll on Volume Two!