Book Review – Silent Hill Comics (Part II) by Tom Waltz

★★★★★ 4.5 Stars

Genre: Horror / Paranormal
Demographic: Older Teen / Adult
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: IDW Publishing

I am a pretty hardcore Silent Hill fanatic. So much that it tires others, in fact.
To me, the series is an interactive artwork combined with the nuance of a novel’s characterization. Sure, it’s got quirks and bad entries on its belt but I don’t care. I genuinely don’t understand how you could enjoy horror or surrealism and not love something about Silent Hill.

As I said in my review of Omnibus I, the early comics are a terrible place to begin the series but I’m also hesitant to recommend them to fans because they barely share a canon and make some rather… interesting alterations…
Omnibus II is a squillion times better than I, on the other hand, so I’m comfortable recommending these to anyone. These are fantastic and do the series justice. A little odd storywise, but the dialogue is good and the art is godlike in places. (Or devil-like? Whichever you prefer…) The physical books of the omnibuses do not match, which is irritating but minor.

A quick rundown and my thoughts on each:

★★★★ 3.5 Stars

Sinner’s Reward is… strange, with uncanny, photo-realistic characters and a story that’s a blend of various Silent Hill plotlines, similarly to S. H. Origins. A man who has a nasty secret history ends up in the town’s Otherworld with his victims of the past, one of whom he doesn’t recognize. It’s fun but predictable, and seems more of a weird yet affectionate homage than an piece of the series’ world, also like Origins. I have no idea what medium the artstyle of Sinner’s Reward is in. I like that. It’s fittingly abstract.

★★★★★ 5 Stars

Past Life is a western gothic of sorts that takes place on Silent Hill’s grounds while it was still a wild, lawless rural village in early America. Psychological horror meets Native American occultism and the series’ signature theme of rebirth. It ends up being insanely cool. The atmosphere created by the artwork is absolute perfection – by far this is the best of all of the comics.

★★★★★ 4.5 Stars

Oh, look. It’s actual canon! What d’you know.
I’m going to admit I have only “skimmed” Silent Hill Downpour. It looks like it’d be fun but most of my love lies in the original quartet and I just can’t bring myself to play it for whatever arbitrary reasons, so I’m only superficially aware of its story. This is still a great comic nonetheless if you go in blind – I think Anne is an awesome anti-heroine of sorts and as I suspected, you could pull pretty much any character from the games and make an intricate, chilling story about them.
The art in Anne’s Story is more traditional. I love it, it may be an acquired taste for some.

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