Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rat God by Richard Corben (2015) - Dark Horse Comics

Richard Corben has been a mainstay in horror comics since the 1970's, with some of his earliest work being featured in Creepy, Vampirella, and Heavy Metal Magazine. A couple years ago, the Will Eisner Award Hall of Famer put out one of his creepiest stories yet. I happened to find all five issues of Rat God at Wonderland Comics, wrapped up in a bundle and sold at a discount. The books were in a "censor bag" as I like to call it, because there was a black box covering three fourths of the plastic bag. If they were hiding the cover, then it had to of been good. I got home, ripped off the plastic, and started to dig.

The cover to the first issue was an incredibly gross portrait of this old rat/human hybrid. The decaying inbred rat person is incredible, and Richard Corben's artwork is just so detailed and realistic that it just makes you feel uncomfortable looking at it. There is a lot of Lovecraftian elements in this story, including references to Miskatonic University in Arkham. It's also full of Native American lore, with the base of the story being about a ancient Native rat spirit. Clark Ellwood ventures through New England looking for a woman named Kito, a Native American woman he fell in love with at the University. He finally comes across the town of Lame Dog, Kito's hometown. Clark Ellwood soon finds himself in a town of deformed rat people, and a cult dedicated to the terrifying Rat God. The mix of Lovecraftian horror and Native American mythology is just perfect, and it almost feels like it could be part of the Lovecraft mythos because it just blends in so well to Lovecraft's original stories. The artwork is horrifying, and every panel didn't skip a beat in detail, and terror. It's honestly one of my new favorite horror stories now, and I'm so glad that this random buy at a little comic shop was worth it.

I think you can pick up back issues on the Dark Horse website, and I believe they put out a hardcover of all the issues in one nice package. This story was absolutely brilliant, and the Lovecraftian back-woods rat cult vibes got me all sorts of creeped out. I'll post a link to the Dark Horse page, and his personal page if you're interested in checking out more of his work. Let me know what you think!

Buy this comic here at Dark Horse Comics and visit Richcard Corben's website HERE

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