Hotell #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 17, 2020

Writer: John Lees
Artist: Dalibor Talajić
Colours: Lee Loughbridge
Letters: Sal Cipriano

In Hotell #2 we return to the Pierrot Courts Hotel from the first issue for another twisted horror story. Twisted things are going on in this hotel and horror fans are sure to love this anthology. A clever storytelling trick this issue does is making the villain of the story human. John Lees understands that sometimes the scariest things out there are people. And yes, like the first issue there’s something strange and supernatural going on at the hotel, but that isn’t where the horror comes from. No, the horror is all man made. The supernatural aspects of the story are just an opportunity to explore these aspects in a different way than the first.

It’s also an incredibly satisfying story. Just like the first issue, Lees creates a totally standalone issue, introducing us to our characters and managing to tell a complete story with just one comic. There is a moment near the end of the comic which mirrors a scene from earlier and it’s incredibly effective. It’s a lot harder to craft a good short story than a full length series but Lees’ pulls off this feat with ease.

The story begins like the first, with the Clerk, Jack, talking as if to the reader. It’s a clever way to pull you into the story, and to remind readers that this is an anthology series. It appears there is even more going on here than the reader knows and more will be revealed as the story progresses.

A neat little twist that I liked was that Bobby, one of the main characters from this issue, made a brief cameo in the first issue. We see that same interaction in this issue, this time from Bobby’s point of view, and it puts a neat spin on the events as we realise they weren’t exactly what we saw in the first issue. It’s the only connection to the first issue, and it’s a bit more of a connection than we’d usually get in an anthology. It’s too early to say whether this trend will continue or be part of an overall story but it’s a nice reference for fans.

Dalibor Talajić returns as the artist, and aside from being a nice visual touch having the same writer and artist covering the whole anthology, is also good because he does a great job of bringing the isolated Pierrot Courts hotel to life. He manages to make the more mundane scenes blur seamlessly with the more horrific without skipping a beat, further adding to the creepy vibe. It also means when we see our brief cameo from the first issue there’s no uncertainty with who the reader is seeing. He does a great job of capturing the characters facial expressions as well.

Lee Loughbridge has done a lot of work for AWA studios recently, his colours can drastically change  the feel and appearance of a comic and are instrumental in setting the tone and themes. He does another excellent job here, and some of the contrasting colours, blood against a black background, or a multicoloured magical lake, look fantastic.

Another horror filled issue in an anthology series that is sure to appeal to fans of horror. John Lees understands that great horror doesn’t always need to involve monsters and the supernatural, that humanity can be more twisted and scary than anything otherworldly. This second issue suggests there is a bit of an overarching narrative going on here as well and it’ll be interesting to see how the finished anthology reads. Talajić’s art is a good match for the series and Loughbridges colours are fantastic. Horror fans do not want to miss this.

Our Score:


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