Comics Time: Mr. Cellar’s Attic

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Mr. Cellar’s Attic

Noel Freibert, writer/artist

Extreme Troglodyte, April 2010

12 pages

$6

Buy it from Closed Caption Comics

Although that little jpg might get the idea across, you really need to hold the cardstock covers of Closed Caption Comics member Mr. Freibert’s latest horror-comic throwback to see how beautifully screenprinted those colors are. It seriously looks like he sat there and did it by hand with pastel colored pencils. The thinness and shakiness and uniform weight of his linework only further reemphasizes that Mr. Cellar’s Attic was an act of drawing, something that came out of the tip of a pencil or pen held by a person. Which, now that I think of it, is maybe how Freibert is able to reclaim the hoary EC Comics/Edgar Allen Poe/”Colour Out of Space” proto-body-horror tropes he’s working with out of the realm of cliche and make them feel like a force to be reckoned with again. In addition to the cool, clever wordplay of the title, Freibert’s pacing keeps things feeling fresh and lively and present, if you will. There’s an uneasy sense of discovery as Freibert’s guilty-conscienced narrator recounts his ill-fated decision to rent out his attic room to an elderly grotesque, whose personal hygiene and mysterious conduct gets worse and worse until the story culminates with the narrator’s inspection of the room he rented…and the smaller room he built inside it. That’s a great, weird image, and what is found inside that room doesn’t disappoint either. The thing ends with a gorgeously colored shot that all but demands Vincent Price be resurrected to provide his trademark cackle as its soundtrack. If you want a comic that utilizes the tools of today’s artcomix aesthetic to evoke the sensation you got when you were a kid looking at the awesomely hideous masks in the grown-up section of the Halloween store, you know where to look.

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