Review: Evil Cast

"Evil Cast"

Review by Tony Farina

The world has given us a lot of darkness lately. We're locked in our homes and we're scared after reading way too many news articles and stressing out. Everybody really needs to take a break to just do something fun. Luckily, Ominous Media has a delightful distraction for all of us. The first two issues of a FREE, web based, indie comic called Evil CastEvil Cast is created and written by Kyle Stück, an award winning filmmaker, and drawn by Enrico Orlandi.
The non-spoilery  summary goes like this:
After stumbling upon a secret organization, two podcasters obsessed with the supernatural find themselves caught up in a horror adventure filled with all the monsters and evil they previously thought to just be stories.
In the first few issues we meet Kyle, Noah, Smokey and Bear. The first two are the above mentioned podcasters, while the latter are two cats whose purpose will slowly be revealed as this series continues. In the first two issues, Stück makes sure that we know exactly who these guys are. He has written a slow burner plot that leans heavily on the pair. We need to understand and like them for us to care about the crazy events that unfold around them. We learn in issue one that Kyle and Noah are best friends who love spending time together. In a few, wordless panels, Stück turns the storytelling over to the amazing Enrico Orlandi who shows us what a day in the life of two best pals can be. It's wonderful. When you get to this section, take your time, you'll thank me later. In fact, take your time on all the panels, as Orlandi is amazing and has left pop culture Easter eggs everywhere.

When the dialogue is flowing, it flows in such a naturalistic way. Issue two features more talking and I can hear each inflection in my ear as I read each panel. Having listened to Humming Fools, the podcast about art and creativity by the real Kyle and Noah, it's easy to hear the rapport they have. In real life and in the comics, they gently rib each other and keep each other honest. The best friends we have are the ones who tell us the truth all the time and who never keep secrets. After spending a few episodes with these guys, you feel like you know them and that you want to hang out even more.
It seems counter-intuitive to wait this long to finally show the covers, but I think it actually makes sense. The cover of each book will be an homage to a great horror movie. This is a brilliant choice that underscores the meta-commentary that runs through the entire book. The thing about Evil Cast is that the characters are aware of the tropes of horror movies, so as they stumble into them, they don't react the way one expects them to react even though the cover versions of themselves are acting out classic tropes.

If you're intrigued, and you should be, after you read the comics, you can listen to my interview with Kyle on Indie Comics Spotlight, here or as part of the Comics In Motion podcast network. Just search Comics in Motion in your favorite podcast catcher.

Conclusion

I don't want you all to think that Evil Cast is only good for a pandemic, but instead that it's so good that reading it will help you get through the current crisis. You need to make sure you bookmark it AND subscribe to the Ominous Media newsletter, so you never miss an issue. Seriously, this is the book the world needs right now. The humor is hysterical, the characters are flawed, and they own it which make them even more likeable. There's a mystery unfolding with Kyle and, by the end of issue 2, we're worried for his well-being.

These characters feel real and three dimensional. The art's stunning and the visual jokes keep coming, panel after panel. This isn't a book that's meant to be read just once, it demands - and deserves - your time and attention.


You have time right now, so go give this series some love.

Images Courtesy of Ominous Media and the Creative Team

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