Review: A Unique Stay At ‘Hotell #1’
by Benjamin Hall
Warning of spoilers!
The cover by artist Kaare Andrews is very original in feel. Though it is arguable that the cover’s setting looks somewhat similar to something on a generic horror movie poster. However, the images in each window suggest various potential stories for the next three issues of this four-issue series. Not to mention there are potential sequels via any remaining suggestions from this cover. Thus, the original feel comes into the play with these suggestions. Also there is some originality in the fact that the hotel’s sign is spelling both “hotel” and “hell” due to the failure with the lights. Lastly, the colors are a nice range of purples, bloody reds, and sickly yellows.
The interior aesthetics are quite different from the cover’s, but they are still high quality. However, the design and placement of the credits page creates some confusion since time and the main character’s car’s position do not relate to the corresponding pages. That said the colors Lee Loughridge provides are mostly brilliant at suggesting changes in time and horrible choices in light bulbs. While the art features good suggestions of motion, especially in the moments that may be triggering for those who are in, or are survivors of, abusive relationships. Not to mention that artist Dalabor Talajić does a commendable job of drawing non-sexual nudity by focusing more on the horror elements.
The text is decent, but it is also the creative area where things are somewhat unbalanced. This is mainly due to the script by writer John Lees coming across as both a horror host series and a one-off narrative. In other words this issue feels more like a horror one-shot with traces of a horror series. Although the apparent ending is contradictory to an implication at the beginning of the issue there is still hope for this series. As for the lettering it is mostly great work by letterer Sal Cipriano, but some of the placement in a few panels looks to be at an angle from the speaker/thinker. However, the font size and style leave no question that this is high quality lettering. In conclusion, this issue is worth at least a glance by mature horror fanatics.