Nightmare Fuel #1
Nightmare Fuel is written by Fraser Campbell, with art by Norrie Millar, lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, logo design from Faye Stacey and script editing by Heather Palmer. Published by Cabal Comics
As the world faces climate change disaster world leaders are meeting in Glasgow to find a way forward. Big brands are getting in on the act, keen to show that their product is clean, green and part of the solution not part of the problem. That seems to apply whether the product is coal or cola. Unsurprisingly appearance tends to be more important than substance.
Imagine then, a world where a corporation has found that the solution to the world’s energy needs lies in hunting down supernatural monsters. This is the fascinating premise of Nightmare Fuel. Humanity is very good at creating expandable ‘others’ when it suits their material needs. There are few cruelties we will not commit against our fellow humans, and when it comes to animals we treat them as existing solely for our benefit.
But surely monsters are fair game, blood sucking creatures from our nightmares that they are? Nightmare Fuel takes a hard and unsentimental look at the psychology we employ to run our systems. Here, the book covers similar ground to Something is Killing the Children but with a greater moral awareness.
Characterisation is strong in the book. One thread looks at a team of monster hunters, a group with a great mix of characters and some excellent chemistry. The team put me in mind of the crew in Alien with some nods to other classic movies like The Thing. The other one is a world of manipulative boardroom players. We have an evil CEO straight from central casting (surely even Bezos, Musk and Zuckerberg don’t actually think they are evil?) and I look forward to more from that world in future issues.
Norrie Millar’s pencils have an accessible cartoonish style that lends a lighter touch to the book and emphasise that whilst Nightmare Fuel has serious themes it is also entertaining and fun. A variety of panel layouts are used to convey different moods and the monstrous, eldritch nature of the supernatural beings is emphasised with eerie purples and greens. The ‘near future’ vehicles look cool but believable.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou provides his usual high standard of lettering with plenty of room to cut loose with the screams of monsters. I thought it was interesting that Faye Stacey provided logo design – the Ecto Co logo looks just like something a corporation would design, in a fitting shade of green of course.
Nightmare Fuel is a topical and original comic but never preaches, it is always entertaining with interesting plot threads that will have the reader looking forward to the next issue.
Nightmare Fuel is coming to Kickstarter November 2021.
You can get updates from Fraser or Cabal Comics at the links below.
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