Shades of Fear is a horror comic anthology that features ten stories told in vivid colour. Editors Ashanti Fortson and Allison O’Toole bring us riveting tales from a multitude of talented creators. Each comic uses a distinct colour palette, from soft, warm reds to blistering yellow. The book was successfully crowdfunded in September 2022, and you can pick up a digital copy here: https://balustradepress.gumroad.com/l/shades-digital
Colour plays an important role in this anthology. Many stories pick a specific palette and stick with it, while others bring in greyscale for dramatic effect. Each choice is purposeful here, and it is clear that a lot of care went into crafting these tales. Throughout the book are full-colour illustrations and filler pages that give the stories room to breathe.
Part of the fun of anthologies is having no idea what is coming next, and each story in Shades of Fear brings something unique to the table. Nearly every entry had me going ‘Oh no’ for various reasons, and some stories were fun to reread with a friend and swap theories about what was really going on. There are legitimately creepy moments in this collection that linger long after the last page has been turned. Provided at the back are content warnings so that readers can choose their reading experience and also avoid potential spoilers if they wish.
‘Tis the season for spooky reads, and if you want a strong showcase of short-but-sweet stories, this is the anthology for you. Tune in each Wednesday this month for more Halloween reviews!