Comic Book Review: Eventide from Grub Machine Comics
Grub Machine’s Eventide is here to ask one major question: who do we become when we find ourselves face-to-face with soul-snatching peril? Five teenagers are about to find out, firsthand.
The premiere issue – which drops today – introduces us to Connor Wood, a high school student and orphan who seems to be a magnet for trouble and misfortune. He’s joined by his best friend Rose Chung, who establishes herself as the duo’s voice of reason. When he tries to warn her of strange sounds around their orphanage, she’s quick to assure him that his suspicions are a potential byproduct of his grief. They arrive at Jefferson High where we meet three other students: high achieving It Girl Kori Evans, athlete and adversary Ethan Thomas, and the mysteriously moody Logan Valdez. Connor’s relationships with each of them are varying shades of awkward.
Later that evening on his way to a school event, a young woman approaches Connor in distress (which is an intentional understatement; you’ll want to see her predicament for yourself, which arises in the first page). As he attempts to help her, he gets an eyeful of the evil spirit that threatens their city. How will Connor get away? Who will he become, a hero or a cautionary tale? Will the city survive?
Any inaugural issue has the capacity to fall victim to a number of common traps like poor pacing or flat characterization. Thankfully, the Eventide (pronounced “evan-tide”) team has avoided all that and laid the groundwork for what promises to be an engaging tale about rising to the occasion. Writer Kim Gaines has expertly crafted characters and connections that are both genuine and intriguing. Every word of set-up feels as if it has a purpose, which is as considerate as it is intelligent. Artist Sean Dillon makes some phenomenal choices that help the reader navigate from the brighter, classically high school moments to the darker, truly haunting ones.
Creating suspense can be a difficult thing to achieve within the comics space. The Grub Machine team, however, has shown a penchant for making certain moments of horror positively leap off of the page. From the first frame your attention is not only held, but handled with precious care. By the last heart-gripping moment I held out my palms, begging for the next installment.
If there’s one thing Eventide proves, it’s that Gaines and company have found a lane and are ready to takes us on the trip of our lives. If that’s the case, then I call shotgun.
For more information, visit the Grub Machine website.