Stay Awake 1 & 2, Reviewed. The Comics with Nightmare Fuel Story and Art.

Stay Awake 1 and 2

It might be the jolly season, but do you want a new psychological horror comic series with nightmare fuel story and art? Joseph Oliveira and Adrian Manuel Garcia have created an epic solution in Stay Awake.

Stay Awake is a fantastic four-issue horror series. Currently at two issues printed with issue three due next year. It’s as great an opportunity as any to delve into this powerful psychological thriller. Inspired by the category of sleep disorders Parasomnias, those which cause abnormal behaviour and thought process, Stay Awake offers some uniquely relatable horror. The story and art here is the perfect tonic to take just before you try to soundly sleep in your cosy winter bed... As long as you love your nightmares.

So, well, let’s start with the art. Adrian Manuel Garcia presents truly dread-inducing art, a tone set wonderfully by Robert Geronimo's cover, that holds a sinister, building, unsettling edge. The finely detailed ink lines and shading really emphasise these feelings both in setting design and character depiction. It’s nightmare fuel in a very serious way. Darkness stalks you through each panel even during the lighter moments. Joseph's colours complement this, drawing you closer in with its dark shadowed palette. All in all the art really pushes the psychological horror element, providing all the real emotion in the first issue. Allowing what could have been a fairly rudimentary conversational first act to become a much more sinister mystery than its initial details suggest.

Stay Awake 1 preview

Joseph Oliveira has an excellent story here. Creating a first issue that makes a conversation in an office a wholly disturbing, chill down your spine inducing encounter. With the art driving the emotion, the writing plants a tiny itch in the back of your mind. Like all great horror stories, this is a very important element. It’s that switching on of the fight or flight mentality. Your brain is telling you it’s just a conversation and yet at the same time saying is something seriously sinister bubbling just under the surface. The story begins harmlessly enough dropping us into the streets of Liverpool before jumping into a very prestigious looking psychologists office. It is the office of one Mr Isaac Banks, an award-winning clinical psychologist specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy for Parasomnia. He feels interrupted by a Detective Inspector Jennifer Lane. DI Lane wants an informal conversation regarding some unusual deaths from historical cases. But why does she want to talk to Mr Banks? Does he have a connection to these deaths? Or is he just a consultant? The first half, of the first issue, sets all this up in the most engaging of ways. By the end of it, this story is firmly wedged in your brain with some questions answered but much more unearthed. This story is so captivating it will drag you through it leaving you desperate for reconciliation, if only to let you be able to sleep more comfortably after letting this series into your life. I hope this series continues to develop as superbly as it has started. While desperately looking forward to conclusions in a series that is now firmly burrowed in me.

Stay Awake 2 preview

So for those horror fans in your life, the psychology buffs, or even for yourself. I urge you to seek it out. Physical copies are available through Afterlight comics with digital versions available on the Kickstarter. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out early next year for that issue three Kickstarter which is bound to offer some great rewards.

Review 5/5

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