Posted on: February 2nd, 2012 REVIEW: Rachel Rising #5

RachelRising5Do you ever come across somebody’s work and think, “This is the ideal medium for what I’m seeing.” It could be a story, an opinion, some artwork, music-it doesn’t really matter. There are some times when you just sit back and realize that the planets have aligned and you’re experiencing the optimum experience. Well, I feel that way about Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising.

I read the first issue of Rachel Rising and did not like it. I couldn’t figure out why. And it drove me nuts. I tried to pick it apart and figure out what turned me off. Couldn’t do it. I just knew it made me uncomfortable. So I read the second. Same thing. Read the third. Read the fourth. Read the fifth. Cannot wait for the sixth.

This book continues to make me feel uncomfortable. And somewhere along the line I realized that’s what it was meant to do. It’s just a damn creepy book. It’s not like a horror movie where you’re screaming at the half-naked blonde when she goes down in the basement. I can handle that kind of scary. That kind of scary is a flash in the pan: over and done with before you know it. Terry Moore has created a kind of scary that’s a slow simmer. Sure, you feel that sort of suspense when you know that she shouldn’t go to the basement, but you feel that FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH until the next issue comes out. Then there’s no immediate payoff like in the movies; we’re just constantly building. And it’s unsettling as hell.

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The book revolves around two characters. First and foremost, we have the title character, Rachel, who has recently found herself dead and buried. After digging herself out, she can’t remember anything that happened and tries to piece it together. But she’s dead. And everyone can see that she’s dead. And everyone’s…concerned and confused. The second character is a young girl named Zoe. Zoe is a creepy child (which are the worst). There’s a ghost-like lady that follows her around and a lot of people die around her. No bueno.

I like Terry Moore. I like his realistic variety in characters, his dialogue, the way he draws, I like to read his stuff. I won’t say that I enjoy reading Rachel Rising. It leaves a pit in my stomach. Do not read into that to mean that the book is bad. It isn’t. I wasn’t kidding when I said I can’t wait for the next book. I have questions that need to be answered. But it is legitimately a sadomasochistic desire to continue. From the colorless art to the gruesome content-it’s disconcerting. No warm and fuzzy feelings should be rushing over you after reading.

Rachel Rising wouldn’t have such an impact as a horror movie. Nor would it work as a novel. It was meant to be a comic. More over, it was meant to be an independent comic. It needs the silence. It needs the lack of narration. You just have to look at the art and absorb it all. You can find it from Moore’s Abstract Studio imprint. And if you want to have that “Oh no…” feeling for months on end, definitely give it a look.

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