I've Got No Strings

Puppet Master #1 (of 3)

Action Lab

Writer: Shawn Gaborrin
Art: Michela Da Sacco
Color: Yann Perrelet

Oh hello everyone, you all strike me as folks who like the finer things (that's why you're here). What are the finer things? Horror franchises that put human souls in puppets, creating murderous marionettes! Shawn Gabborin, co-founder of Action Lab and writer of numerous properties of the publisher brings this franchise back to life with a tone that fits right in with all the horror greats. Michela Da Sacco further portrays that tone by pitting her realistic and attractive character models against the puppets in a gory and fun way. Check out her art here.

So we got some classic horror stuff going on here. A group of 7 teens decides to go on vacation at the old, abandoned Bodega Bay Inn. The Inn is a mysterious building that has had many dark events transpire inside. To prevent further dramatic events, people bring dolls to pay tribute to the spirits. Everyone is drinking and of course there is some hormonal sex happening (par for the course) when the deaths begin... This is a book with a lot of "see it to believe it" fun so I won't explain it in too much detail. I just wouldn't do it justice.

Gaborrin provides a story with very believable teens for a horror scenario. Seriously, it feels like you are reading something that you could be watching on the big screen. There is a fun factor that combines with a certain amount of cult classic cheesiness to make for a very enjoyable read. This is also a good jumping on point for the franchise, as one of the characters reveals the origin of the man who constructed and worked with the legendary haunted puppets.

Da Sacco, as I mentioned earlier, draws wonderful human figures and, as it turns out, violence. She provides visuals that really stick with you and makes you wonder how the remaining cast will reach their demise. Not only that but the actual action sequences of the violence are very detailed. It is obvious that Da Sacco understands how clothing moves and draws it appropriately. Her use of shading is particularly impressive. Most of the Inn is dimly lit and the teens are lit by lanterns. The way that light reflects off of the contours in the characters body (and particularly their faces) is perfect. Obviously I can't talk about this books art without mentioning the puppets. They are all illustrated in the campy, goofy way that they should be, however the reader sees them in a different light as the story goes on and the puppets show their true selves.

This is a great edition to the Puppet Master franchise! It serves as an excellent next chapter in the story but it doesn't deter new fans either. There is a little something for everyone (if you like the genre) and you won't be lost if you're new. This is part of a 3 issue series and if this first part is any indication, it's going to be classic cult movie fun! The first issue is $3.99 and has a whole mess of covers, pick it up and have a grand ol' time.

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