Advance Review: ‘Red Room’ #2 Is Gory But Good

by Olly MacNamee

Summary

More gory goodness from Ed Piskor in ‘Red Room’ #2. One of the baddest comics on the shelves, in every sense of the word.

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10

Ed Piskor continues to dream up new ways in which to maim and mutilate for profit in Red Room #2. If you pick up the first issue you know what you’re in for, you sick little puppy. A gory mix of torture-porn and social commentary all done with an art style evocative of underground comics and Rick Veitch at his more beautifully horrific. And all produced in sepia-tinted paper and black and white art to add that extra layer of grim, grittiness and indie charm. It’s clearly a very labour of love for Piskor that will not necessarily win him any new readers that’s for sure. Even though the story within these pages is packed with more emotive impact than you would at first think. But, a comic like this was always going to be a niche sell.

Working against his will to revive patients, only for them to be callously killed online for the enjoyment of anyone willing to pay the price on the dark web in Bitcoin, Doctor Daniels is given a weekly update on his family via a secretly filmed video diary. His only ray of sunlight in an ever darkening world he cannot escape. But, given the nature of this series, even that ray is soon sniffed out. This really is a rotten world Piskor has created. Yet I found myself sympathising and shuddering more for Daniels than any recent character in any mainstream comic. But then horror can do that to you. When it’s done well, as this title illustrates.

Piskor is certainly taking chances with this one, but the payoff is well worth it for those of us with the stomach to take such graphic storytelling. Not as meaty an issue as the first over-sized gore-fest, but maybe that’s not a bad thing considering the subject matter. If you enjoyed Eli Roth’s Green Inferno, you’ll dig this.

Red Room #2 is out Wednesday 30th June from Fantagraphics Press.

Olly MacNamee

A unashamed DC Comics fan and sometime teacher for over 20 years! I got lucky and found the escape hatch. Now, I just read and write about comics all day long. Co-host of the ICE-Cast podcast and one third of the brains behind Birmingham's street art and graffiti festival High Vis Fest.

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