Pink and zombies! Nothing says “Silent Hill” like pink and zombies!
This issue picks up with Christabella and Lauryn having a little power struggle. They both have hoards killing each other but neither of them seem to be able to gain a direct advantage over the other, so Christabella strikes Lauryn where it really hurts—her boyfriend of course! Cause no woman can think clear when a man or two is around! She wastes all her “god-like” powers trying to protect Clown and Payne.
Leaving her defenseless. What a shock. Christabella makes her a deal, stating that she brought Lauryn to Silent Hill to go into some building and unleash a weapon for her. Something about Lauryn not having blood on her hands—which is total bullshit. She brought like a dozen of her friends to Silent Hill for the sole purpose of killing them. She has blood on her hands so I don’t know what the fuck this comic thinks it is pulling on me.
Lauryn goes into the school and the entire time, her zombie minions cheer her up.
I will not even lie. I died a little on this page. Ok, a lot. I died a lot. DIED ON THE INSIDE—GET IT! LIKE DYING INSIDE… no. This comic uses the title as a pun 4 times and then uses the opposite as a pun too. I will not stoop to its level.
Once inside Midwhich, Lauryn finds some numbers written on a door. While she tries to figure out the numbers, since you know she was a cheerleader math genius a yr. ago, her zombies stand around in a mystical circle which summons somebody called Whatley. Whatley brings w/ a horde of MULTIPLE PYRAMID HEADS, sexy nurses and what I can only assume is a pack of The Rake…s.
What ever lived to this point curled up into a small ball and rocked itself to sleep, weeping for its lost love.
I cannot even put into words how wrong this is. The fight has left me. It has literally left my body.
Let’s just get through these last few pages.
Whately starts talking about how he controlled the town forever and that it is Lauryn’s fault for killing Christabella and letting her get so much power because “I (Lauryn) was born here, Christabella died here” I have no idea what she is spouting on about. Tory pops up w/ the last single survivor of Lauryns buddies, Hogg and they start mowing down Whately’s minions, killing Whately in the process. Christabella makes a move to get the upper hand, but for some reason Lauryn decides that the power was in her all along!
And apparently that power is literally 666.
I have no fight. Just hold your breath and lemme get through the last page. Lauryn opens the door just long enough for Satan??? to get out and that triggers Christabella to fall from power. She loses her grip on the power in the town and Lauryn takes her place as Queen Bitch of Silent Hill. Troy takes Christabella off for therapy and Lauryn tells Clown and Payne to GTFO. THE END
This comic is HORRIBLE.
It isn’t good on its own.
It isn’t good as part of the Silent Hill mythos.
It isn’t good for anything!
Bad story telling, characters all having the exact same personality, so many shifts in protagonist I am still not sure I know who actually is the damn protagonist! Not to mention art that is so heavy and abstract you can’t tell what the fuck you are looking at. I don’t know if it is usual practice to suddenly change artist half-way through your series, but Dying Inside did. Ben Templesmith did the art for the first 2 and Aadi Saleman took over for the final 3. The marked difference in art style seemed to seep over into the way the story was told, so there was a huge break. I almost wonder if this series wasn’t meant to be 2: Troy’s story and then separately Lauryn’s story. The only thing that ties their stories together currently is Christabella.
I just don’t get it. I’ve seen fanart and fanfics (even am currently writing on) that puts more thought and originality into themselves than this professionally published series.
DYING INSIDE SCORE: 2/10
AND WE AREN’T EVEN REALLY DONE!
Dead/Alive is next and that continues the story of Lauryn and Christabella. I can’t wait.
As you can tell from the cover alone, Dying Inside #4 decides that art doesn’t really need to be clear or anything for you to get what the hell is going on.
#4 begins w/ Lauryn doing some kind of magical spell on Christabella to kill— uh, “unkill” her? Whatever. Christabella goes all spazzy and then pulls that obnoxious SPD (Single Personality Disorder) card and tells Lauryn she was kidding and that she had no power in the town.
She attacks her but Lauryn and Clown are able to escape. Clown tells Lauryn, in the middle of a life or death situation, that Payne (his older brother and Lauryn’s boyfriend) that he knows Clown and Lauryn have been sleeping together. I don’t care if love triangles are in a story, sometimes the can build great anticipation and force readers to take sides they would not have previously taken— but when you have the main character standing in the middle of Silent Hill worrying about her boyfriend finding out she is sleeping w/ brother, it gets really aggravating.
Lauryn and Clown meet up w/ Payne and at about that time, we see some of her friends being cornered by Troy on a subway. He went from a bad therapist w/ a dark past to some sort of Call of Cthulhu Dr. Phil and psychodiagnosis his victims as he is killing them.
W/ his chest tentacles. Of course. Hey! Remember all those tentacles in all the Silent Hill games?! Right—no. No you don’t. There was only the few times in Silent Hill 1 that there were tentacles AND THEY LEAD TO NOWHERE. They weren’t there because tentacles are cool or supposed to be scary or something. They were there because they unnerved the player as they were just a portion of something large that the player was not able to see. Like evil icebergs! Ciencin seems to just think tentacles are really cool and they should be everywhere or something.
Anyway, Troy kills some of Lauryn’s friends and then calls her to tell her about it. After that Lauryn goes all retrospective and talks about how Christabella was killed. Apparently Lauryn wanted to talk to a boy she liked, so she let her go off w/ some random boys and “they” killed her because “they” were using kids to lure other kids. Who “they” are, fuck if I know!
Christabella pops up again so she and Lauryn can get into a name-calling contest to which Lauryn reveals that she is even more of an aseehole than we had previously believed. She lied to her “friends” to come along under the claim that they were going to make money, but Lauryn brought them to Silent Hill to die so she could turn them into zombies and wage war against Christabella.
I shit you now, Zombies… in Silent Hill.
I-I have no words.
This comes so far out of left field that I don’t even care. Sure, whatever. Zombies. Why not?!
As you can plainly tell, the art in #3 is very different from the first 2 issues and that can be credited to Aadi Salman taking over for Ben Templsmith. I can greatly praise the different style and say that I actually like the art in this issue and would and could easily hang posters of this caliber on my wall w/ pride.
Color is used for its intended purpose and not just to detail the difference between an action scene and a less-action-y scene. Unfortunately, the action scenes are not improved, in fact I think they take a step back.
Good luck trying to figure out what the fuck is going on there! All I could see was a lot of red and orange smeared all over the place.
So when begin issue 3 w/ the group from the end of issue 2. Lauryn and her band of… friends, have decided to go to Silent Hill because Lauryn gets the fabulous idea that if they go to Silent Hill, they can copy down the graffiti the saw on the tapes and sell it to rich people.
Yeah, I thought the same thing. But Lauryn picked her dumbasses—I mean, “friends” well and they go along w/ it willingly. They decided they will go to Silent Hill, except one guy that decides that he has a brain. Too bad, cause he dies.
I thought the implication was that they were watching the tape and ON THEIR WAY to Silent Hill, but because Smart Guy gets attacked by Christabella that means they are already there? I don’t know. He gets killed them Lauryn starts having some weird insta-dream sequence where she is talking to some therapist about her past. Lauryn’s younger sister was killed not too long ago ans since then she has blamed herself. Then suddenly the therapist goes all tentacle-chest on her and then she blinks and is standing in some… place.
There is no transition, just the last panel on page 15 and the first panel on page 16. Really jarring and it seems to be a pattern in this issue. No time between transitions to breathe.
Someone in the group starts up some music and some Mannequin monsters from Silent Hill 2 drop through the glass ceiling. Lauryn doesn’t seem phased by it at all and just tells everyone to get weapons. The fight and in some indecipherable action scene, Lauryn disappears for a few moments while she is trying to read some of the spells in some magic book she got off eBay.
Christabella pops up and starts talking, then gets hit over the head. Lauryn reveals that Christabella is her (dead) younger sister and that the magic book is going to be a tool for her to kill Christabella so she will stop haunting her dreams. Apparently, Lauryn’s plan all along was to use the Magic eBay Book to kill her dead sister and she just brought along her friends for shits and giggles.
Aren’t you glad she is our main character?! I know I am. On top of being an asshole, she is a Mary Sue of epic proportions.
She is an ex-cheerleader, genius that is cheating on her boyfriend w/ his brother and has the ability to read some magic book so she can kill her dead sister. Swing and a miss, Ciencin. I give you an A for effort in trying to build up a character unlike just throwing in random facts like you did w/ Troy and Lynn, but this is not a real character. This is a Mary Sue. I think this may be the definition of “Mary Sue”.
Lauryn is almost, if not more-so, unlikeable than Troy was. Magic eBay book?! Really?
The only thing I can figure is that she lied about where she got the book just as she lied about her true intent behind going to Silent Hill. Either way, it still isn’t a compelling story. I almost miss Troy and Commando Lynn.
Dying Inside #2
In this issue, we see a dramatic shift in tone of the characters as well as have a few revelations sprung upon us.
Starting where the first issue left off, we begin w/ Troy and Lynn standing in front of Christabella. Lynn suddenly changes character completely and decides that she doesn’t want to take Christabella’s shit anymore and that she can just leave. When Christabella makes a move to attack her while her back is turned, a new character, Brett, busts his way through the… wall? Shotgun blazing. He seems to know Troy, and throws a gun his way, which Lynn intercepts and suddenly becomes a totally different character.
Just last page and in a few panels of the first issue, Lynn is described as “vibrant, witty and kind”.
…Clearly. It is like she gets a gun in her hand and suddenly becomes some cartoon Army captain, which makes no sense. She and Brett start gunning down all the monsters they can see and she puts a bullet through Christabella’s right eye, which Christabella replies to w/ “Oh great, now my hair is on fire. Thank you so much.”
Around now, all the characters get what I like to call Single Personality Disorder, or SPD. SPD is when all the characters in a story begin to take on one single attitude, most likely based off the single author creating all of them. Lynn, Christabella, Julianna and Troy all seem to become the same person w/ the same bad sense of humor.
POOR WRITING, Scott Ciencin! They are different characters for a reason—they should act like it.
Anyway, Troy and Lynn escape w/ the help of Brett. Once outside, Brett reveals that the back of his skull is missing and that Troy is responsible. Apparently Brett was Julianna’s first husband and had abused her. Troy killed Brett and then married Julianna but when she found out Troy had killed Brett, she killed herself. I don’t know… I can’t really think of why a person would kill themselves after escaping an abuser, unless she lied about the abuse and then felt responsible for Brett’s death—but then again, she doesn’t act like it.
Julianna attacks Troy, but Lynn saves him. They run off towards a bridge where they find Brett and Christabella. Christabella apparently “controls(s) the manifestations” in Silent Hill and turns Brett into some weird tentacle-monster-thing.
To which Lynn starts screaming to Troy about how he has the power to defeat them. I don’t know what the hell she is talking about. I mean she spent time in a comatose state at some mental hospital after a romp through Silent Hill, so I wouldn’t trust her advice. And on top of that, that isn’t how Silent Hill works! The town doesn’t make up monsters to attack you but if you click your heels the monsters will just turn into puppies. You have to actually learn a lesson or fulfill your destiny, not believe in yourself and throw glitter and rainbows over your head.
Anyway, monster!Brett grabs Lynn and starts to eat her. Troy’s heart grows three times that day and he offers himself in Lynn’s place. Christabella says his offer is pointless since she ALREADY HAS HIM, but then he says something about “body and soul” and she reconsiders. She allows Lynn to leave and then looks up at the sky and speaks to someone.
The focus shifts suddenly to reveal that someone who work/ed at the hospital Lynn was in stole one of the tapes she had made. He claims that he has been watching them over and over again and that “they keep changing”. He shows them to his friends and some spiky-haired girl in the group tells them to pack their bags because they are going to Silent Hill.
The all-over art gets worse in this issue. Ben Templesmith seems to get halfway through drawing a panel, focusing solely on the character’s faces and then just throws ink and paint all over the rest of the page. There is almost no backgrounds and I found myself constantly forgetting where this is. At one point Lynn says she finds a back door out of the shop they are in and I had been reading up to that point thinking they were still outside!
The monsters get a little more original. We see an Air Screamer, but really only a silhouette of one in the distant. But don’t confuse a rise in originality as a rise in creativity! The “original” monsters are basically just squiggly blobs, far off or in movement so they are so blurred you can’t make them out. They more often than not just look like chewed bubble gum that grew vertical mouths.
The color scheme continues to be blue-purple and red-brown, though shifts in red-dark pink when the shift in character focus moves to the group of punk kids.
I feel this is a comic I am going to hate.
So I just finished Silent Hill: Dying Inside #1.
I’ll give you the basic outline.
Dr. Troy Abernathy is a noted psychologist who is in the throws of a deep depression after his wife committed suicide. He is called in by an old friend and colleague to help out Lynn, a deranged patient. 18 months prior to being placed in the hospital, Lynn was a photo and film student who went to Silent Hill to get stock footage that she could turn around and sell to major movie companies. Unfortunately, during her stay there she had some sort of encounter and was driven insane. Troy decides that since no other method seems to be helping, he is going to take Lynn to Silent Hill to prove that it is a normal town and there is nothing to be scared of there. Upon their arrival, he sees demon dogs, Numb Bodies and a few Air Screamers, then the image of his dead wife, Julianna. She says like 2 lines to him, then runs off. Troy grabs Lynn, who seems to be growing more lucid since arriving, and they hid in a store where then meet Christabella. Troy had previously though that Christabella was a split personality of Lynn’s but comes to soon realize that she seems to be controlling the monsters somehow. The issues ends w/ Troy losing his shit.
First off, let me get this right out in the open: I hate comics.
I hate comic-based movies.
I hate comic-based shows.
I just really hate comics and comic-related things. ASIDE from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. That was GOLDEN.
Why do I hate comics?
Well, it is a mixture of art style and the idea behind the media. I’ll start with the latter; Comics are usually about %85 visual still art and %15 story. Comics try to tell stories through pictures and not words, which often leaves me feeling unbalanced. I either want to just look at visuals and make up my own mind about the story behind them OR have mostly words and allow my brain to tailor visuals to the words I am reading. There seems to be a gap or lag in my mind when it comes to comics, which leads me to the former in that, comic art is usually IMPOSSIBLE TO DECIPHER! Most of the time I just stare at a panel and think, “What the fuck am I looking at here?”
I know it is a style and that each comic artist has his own way of drawing, this series just seems to have pulled a bad hand. That top panel looks like what… a box w/ the lid open, sitting out in the snow? And the bottom panel is a bunch of mountains w/ a picture of a tree overlayed? I don’t get it. Silent Hill is about provocative imagery that shocks, entices and intrigues. This just seems messy and abstract for no reason.
In some panels, it almost looks like the artist has scribbled over a photograph of a person’s face to give a really weird look to it.
You can tell most around the lips and nose, the highlights of the cheeks and forehead. If they are photographs, it would be a very interesting style choice, but unfortunately is not consistent enough to be a “choice” and is more like random occurrences.
The story is ok, for a beginning, other than being slow. But it is the beginning and I’ll let it slide. What I won’t slide is how much these characters curse and how uninvolved they seem, especially Troy. When he sees Christabella’s gapping wound stomach wound, he points it out to which she says something really odd in return. She talks about dogs chewing her guts out and he is just like “Oh cool… So you guys have any Mountain Dew here? I am thirsty.” That isn’t how a normal person would react. I guess we could claim shock has made him numb, but I don’t know. Lynn has been haunted by Christabella in her dreams since she left Silent Hill and then when she sees her, she just sort of stares much like Troy, though she HAS an excuse. Troy had her pumped full of drugs before they left.
And why is Troy seeing these monsters? What reason would Troy have for seeing the Numb Bodies that are supposed to symbolize the unborn God fetus inside Heather in Silent Hill 3? Or the Air Screamers and dogs that were based of Alessa’s fears in Silent Hill 1. Lazy monster design I guess.
It decent for the beginning of a comic book, Silent Hill or not. It is slow and pretty neutral, the choice colors being blue-purple and red-brown. As an art student, I am more interested in the color choice than the art itself, but I think that is something passable by most readers. I think I’ll w/hold actual rating until I am finished w/ the entire Dying Inside series.