Review: Going Back To ‘Hotell #3″

by Benjamin Hall

Warning of spoilers for this issue and the movie Bad Time At The El Royale (2018)!

John Lees uses three story premises and it results in a rather overcomplicated plot. The first idea Lees uses is the hotel and its keeper in an attempt at an interconnecting horror anthology. While the second idea involves a serial killer and their connection to a reporter. However, Lees decides to include a third idea that is almost straight up stealing in how obvious the inspiration is. This third idea is a hidden layout of the hotel that is almost exactly like that in the movie Bad Times At The El Royale. (Though artist Dalibor Talajić could be somewhat at fault for this design as well.) This apparent thievery only keeps from being out right plagiarism due to the terrible mixing of plots, and certain other differences, such as the characters.

As for the rest of the interior art, Talajić provides competent line work and some extremely repulsive horror visuals. Though Talajić does fail at suggesting a correct number of light sources early on. Also there is a lack of proper subtle motion for a slow motion sequence. Not to mention there are some inconsistencies, such as water suddenly disappearing on a page after the previous page shows it being left behind. The cover by artist Keron Grant spoils the ending of this issue while suggesting a more epic horror tale than what actually occurs. This suggestion is due to how little differentiation there is between the villain’s beard and his face on the cover.

While the lettering by letterer Sal Cipriano is still reedy in terms of how the font looks it does have two pluses. One good thing about the lettering is how its positioning helps with some of the scene transitions. Also the letterer positions the word balloons and text boxes in a way that enhances the suggestion of emotion in the vocals. This is something that some letterers still fail at. As for the coloring by colorist Lee Loughridge, it is a little better in most scenes than the coloring of the two previous issues. Though one or two scenes could use a change for a few colors. Lastly, there are panels that have some kind of mistake which makes two characters appear to have a sudden rash.


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