Book Of The Month – October
Written & Illustrated by Chandra Free
When the Month of October arrives, I like many children have only one thing on my mind; Halloween. It’s the holiday that’s connected to free candy, good scares, and blood-curling screams. It fits the fall season quite wonderfully, and invites us to make the most of it every 31st of October. Even the comics industry celebrates Halloween, for almost every one of their characters is in a costume of some sort anyways! The horror genre runs rampant this month, with everything from Young Frankestein (“That’s Franken-shtein!”) to Saw playing on the different channels the closer we come to the end of the month. Therefore, I thought it was only appropriate to choose something of that nature as the Book Of The Month for October.
When I first met Chandra Free, it was at WonderCon earlier this year. She was sitting at the Archaia booth next to a very enthusiastic Tom Pinchuk, and a very down-to-Earth Patrick McEvoy. She was a wonderful gal to talk to, and her pitch for The God Machine had certainly caught my attention. The issues of the comic she brought with her were all snatched-up from earlier that day, so the only art I was left with to look at was on a glossy postcard. And it was absolutely gorgeous.
Months later when I was finally able to read The God Machine, I had the unfortunate problem of turning into a warm puddle of goo every time I turned the page. The illustrations crept-out like colorful gothic spiders and infested the very cracks of my mind, plaguing me with a calm and relaxing feeling. Why had I not seen art like this before? It was hauntingly beautiful, with little bits of the anime style sprinkled in for good measure. Both the panels and the pages flow together seamlessly, as if it were once a long mural chopped-up into pages and bound together as a beautiful hardcover. If it’s one thing Archaia knows how to do right, it’s definitely hardcovers. You could only imagine my excitement when I discovered this was only the first volume, with several more on their way in these next few years. The only problem is I don’t think I can wait that long, and like the main character Guy Salvatore, I’m longing for something I cannot have. Let’s just say Chandra is very lucky she lives on the other side of the country, or else I’d be pestering her for more every single day.
The story revolves around the utterly crushed and depressed Guy Salvatore, who lost his girlfriend and is having a hard time coping with her death. Despite trying to continue living without her, he simply can’t do it. As if having to deal with high school wasn’t bad enough, he has to carry-on while experiencing several different hallucinations and visions of twisted characters, always seeming to demand something of him. One day while mourning over his ex-girlfriend’s grave at the cemetery, he’s visited by a being named Satan, who informs him that Sith really isn’t dead, and the people who caused her to exist only between the dream worlds are those dastardly gods; Good God, Evil God, and Limbo God. Does Guy buy it? Not really. Would it explain the sometimes grotesque images he’s able to see? Absolutely.
The back-up matter in the hardcover includes character biographies, and beautiful pin-ups by other artists such as Patrick McEvoy, Kat Rocha, Josh Finney and many more. Also, you get a very strange-yet-wonderful foreword by Doc Hammer of The Venture Bros. fame. All of this material is definitely worth the $25 pricetag, so be sure to go pick it up when it hits bookstores October 27th, and enjoy it thoroughly on Halloween! It’ll be the sweetest treat you enjoy that night.