“WIRE HANGERS” (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on August 9th, 2011

From Alan Robert, songwriter and bassist for the legendary Life of Agony, comes WIRE HANGERS (IDW Publishing), a tale of horror, conspiracy and murder. New York is buzzing about the Suicide King Killer, a maniac who has left 27 victims in his wake. Clues point to a disfigured homeless man, but disgraced detective Jason J. Barillo isn’t so sure…

The Suicide King Killer has just claimed two more victims, and the public is anxious for answers. As evidence mounts against Jonathan Cypra, a legless, homeless man with the unfortunate affliction of having his body covered with wire hanger hooks pierced through his skin, news reporter Anna Davis bears witness to a murder in Central Park, sending the case in a different direction as she joins the hunt in an uneasy alliance with Barillo. A creative and surprising story unfolds as the duo embark on a bizarre trip into a world of kidnapping, deception, lab experimentation, super-soldiers and bloody shootouts.

The story in WIRE HANGERS explores new territory in the serial killer subgenre, brought to stunning life with bold, experimental art. Robert extended himself with the project, acting as creator, author and illustrator. The violence clearly takes cues from Mike Zeck’s PUNISHER work, and the surreal imagery seems an homage to Dave McKean’s artwork in BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. In both books, the narrative’s theme is about the collapse of sanity in the face of untamed subconscious. A great example of Robert’s penchant for the surreal is found in the opening pages, where Cypra has a hallucinatory flashback to when he was a child, witnessing a swirl of dead bodies hanging from a tree and a mouth frozen in a scream.

Blending traditional pen-and-ink with more modern digital techniques, WIRE HANGERS delivers mood, atmosphere and rich texture to both the art and story. Audience response has been extremely positive, so much so that the series is being developed into a feature film with Robert, Ted Adams and Jeff Mazzola attached as producers. CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2 director Robert Hall and his Almost Human FX have been tapped to create Cypra’s look. Break out the popcorn!

For more information about WIRE HANGERS, click here.