By: Terry Moore (writing, art, everything)

The Story: What do you do with a paralyzed zombie?

Review: There’s good and bad in this issue.  I’ll go ahead and get the “bad” out of the way first so we can end on a strong note – because this was generally a good issue.

The only “bad” thing is that I’m kinda ready for this series to “get on with it”.  What is the major source of conflict here?  What is the point of it all?  Why is Moore telling us this story?  These are questions that always come into my mind around issue #8 in a new creator-owned series.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying the work immensely, but is suggestive of a small frustration and a desire to get a little more out of the story.

For the “good”, let’s begin with the art.  Moore is a master of facial expression.  I feel as if I point that out after every issue, but it’s true.  There is one creepy scene in this issue where he draws a fat dude who has just seen something horrible and his face is perfect.  Seeing that face tells you that this guy is creeped out BIG TIME.  And it’s a nuanced face.  This guy isn’t grossed out, he isn’t really scared yet (because he hasn’t had time to get scared yet) and he isn’t thinking, “Whoa dude!”  It’s pure revulsion, surprise and “Maybe I shouldn’t be here right now!”  Lesser artists will try the same facial expression, but won’t quite nail it and will have to use a word balloon saying “Gah!”  Moore’s skill makes the panel more elegant.

The other impressive thing about Rachel Rising is just how creepy it is.  The scene where the lady vomits up the snake is only the third weirdest thing in this issue, following the old doctor making his corpse wife smile by pushing up the corners of her mouth and the girl “commanding” a wolf to drag a dead man away from the special witch cemetery and devour his body.

Conclusion: Even though I wish this series would snap to it a little more, it remains one of the best comics on the stands.  Don’t “wait for it to come out in collected edition”.  Read it now.

Grade: A-

-Dean Stell

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