[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Everything just opened in Holland, Michigan on October 10th, 1980. What is Everything? It’s a megastore with anything and everything you could ever need. Holland is celebrating, and the town swarms into Everything as soon as the doors open. Shirley is the store manager, and she is making everything runs smoothly. Meanwhile, Lori the mortgage broker begins to feel useless at her job, and Remo Mundy lands a job as a closer at Everything. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything #1 is a surreal horror story from creators Christopher Cantwell, I.N.J. Culbard, and Steve Wands put out through Berger Books and Dark Horse Comics.
It exists in a similar vein to Superstore on NBC in its criticism of the off-putting and obvious artifice of corporate megachains. However, Superstore uses comedy to show how these environments suck the life and soul out of employees and society. Everything is eldritch horror, and this first issue uses sporadic imagery and sudden shock to convey that there is something wrong with Everything and what it’s doing to Holland.
We only get glimpses and snapshots of the main characters, but Cantwell does a good job of giving you a feel for who they are. Lori is unsatisfied with her job and what she does to people through it, Remo is a teenager who wants to drop out of school and move out from under his abusive dad, and Shirley is a mysterious and intense store manager. There are other characters, but we don’t get much of them yet.
Culbard’s artwork is brilliant in how clear yet sterile the environment feels. There’s nothing confusing in what we see within Everything and the lives of the characters in and around Holland. That contrasts with the more surreal and horrible imagery we see at various points throughout the book. There’s an unspeakable sense of stress throughout thanks to Culbard’s brilliant style. His color work is phenomenal too, using bright and monotone panels to balance the mundanity and the surreality.
Everything #1 is a strangely upsetting yet thoroughly grabbing first issue for this horror comic. It portrays corporate superstore culture as this unspeakable mammoth force that will distort reality with its mere presence, and I’m dying to see more. This one gets a strong recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Everything #1 comes to us from writer Christopher Cantwell, artist and cover artist I.N.J. Culbard, and letterer Steve Wands.
Final Score: 9/10