The concept for Miskatonic High is a very intriguing one – it’s teens vs the Cthulhu Mythos; The Breakfast Club meets Lovecraft. The first issue of writer Mike Shea and artist Ryan Mendoza’s series wastes no time in introducing our cast of slightly unruly schoolkids and putting them into serious danger.
When the teens of Miskatonic High’s Community Service Club head out to an old woman’s house to assist her with moving some boxes, their slightly mundane field trip quickly turns into a hallucinatory nightmare, complete with tentacled, Eldritch horrors, the threat of sacrifice and a lost, ancient city.
There’s plenty of nods to Lovecraft’s infamous and oft-revisited Cthulhu Mythos here, but the comic keeps its tone and horror relatively light, without nullifying the threat that the kids face. There’s monsters and blood here, but there’s nothing so graphic or nasty that it turns into true horror, with a more teen-focused tone than is usually found in Lovecraft-homaging stories.
The teens all reveal brief snippets of information to distinguish them from one another, though this feels secondary to the escape from the world they find themselves thrown back to; no doubt further character development is on the way in subsequent issues. It’s very fast paced and an awful lot of fun.
Credit also to Mendoza for his art, which – like Shea’s writing – seems to strike the right balance between fun and horror without moving too far in either direction, complete with excellent choices in colouring that add greatly to the atmosphere. The design of the main characters gives each teen a distinctive look that helps further with their characterisation – and the world building via environment and creature design is well handled, with some excellent detail. There’s definitely the sense that we’ve only just scratched the surface of what lurks beyond the world these teens inhabit…or thought they inhabited.
In addition to the story, there’s some great information on the creation of the series too, with character and creature sketches included, along with details on the writing process. Unfortunately, in the digital copy I read via Comichaus, part of the notes seemed to be blanked out, leaving the section incomplete.
Overall though, a great start to the series and – with further issues already available – I’ll no doubt be checking those out and covering them very soon.
You can check out further information on Miskatonic High – and buy it direct from the publishers – at this link.
Thanks to Comichaus for providing me with a subscription to try out their service and cover comics from their brilliantly diverse selection. You can try their service for free – with a 14-day trial – on iOS, Android or Amazon devices (click where appropriate for your device).
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