In Review: Jeepers Creepers #1

Not enough of the book's creature, but a story must be started before it can be unleashed.

The covers: An insane eight covers for you to sink your claws into for this premiere issue. The A cover by Kelley Jones and Doug Hazlewood features the Creeper launching itself down from a barn’s ceiling onto the reader. The angle of this illustration gives it a creepy vibe. The character looks terrific, with his face appendages out in a full frenzy. Joy is on the monster’s face as it’s about to tear the reader apart. The coloring is also neat, with the creature and the barn interior dark, but not so much so that the illustration is lost. The bright oranges are terrific. Mirroring the poster for the first film is the B cover by Kewber Baal and Schimerys Baal. The layout and execution is perfect and the colors spot on. I love Kelley Jones, but this is the cover I gravitated to. I have nothing but love for Photo covers and that’s what the C frontpiece is. It features the Creeper’s face caught in a momentary blast of light. Against a dark background, he really stands out. If one would like to have their favorite artist create a one of a kind illustration or have the creators of this book sign it, there’s the D, the Blank Authentix cover, that’s blank, save the title and publisher. I like the idea behind this cover, but on its own, it’s not great. The E is the “Virgin” Kelley Jones cover, the same as the A, just minus all text. If one likes Jones and Hazlewood, this is one to get. A solid creepy cover is the F, the Incentive B&W cover by Baal. This is a black and white version of the B and it’s terrific. If there hasn’t been enough love for Kelley Jones for this first issue, the G is the Incentive B&W cover. This is a colorless version of the A. It, too, is awesome. The final cover, the H, is a surprise because it’s a Variant cover featuring original Ken Haeser hand-drawn original art sketch. I found one image of this variant online. It’s pretty sweet. Do they all look the same and how many are there in this edition? I couldn’t say, but I’d like to see more of these! Overall grades: A A, B A+, C A+, D C, E A, F A, G A, and H A+

The story: Against the full moon of a broken corn field a murder of crows begin to move across the panel. Their numbers increase until they are joined by a giant winged creature that’s visible only in silhouette. The creature flies into the reader’s point of view until it’s revealed to be a winged man. It flies into the ground violently. It stands and reveals itself to be an inhuman creature: the Creeper. It sees a fence with drooping barbwire. It raises the wire so it can entire the enclosed area and its eyes fall upon a large broken down barn. Something is within that causes it to bear its teeth. Whether this is a smile or snarl is left unresolved for the story by Marc Andreyko then moves elsewhere. A college student, Devon James, becomes the focus of the tale as he’s journeyed to Mexico. His expertise will instantly give a sense of foreboding to the reader. He’s looking for something and he imparts his knowledge on another character, which leads to him getting into a bit of trouble. However, after he gets out of this situation, someone gives him something which catches the attention of this series’ creature. This was an okay story, but there’s not enough of the title character in it for me to enjoy. Andreyko does have to build up a story for the creature to appear, so it’s understandable. The Creeper does appear a few times, but they’re so brief and don’t appear to have any rhyme or reason to them that makes his appearances a little frustrating. That said, it’s only the first issue, so anything can change or justify what’s shown in this installment. Overall grade: B

The art: I’m liking the artwork of Kewber Baal. The first page is a great example of how comics can beautifully create motion. The moving of the birds across the panel is gorgeous and creepy. The Creeper’s entrance in the bottom panel is creative because he looks like an owl. It’s only on the second and third pages as the character crash lands before the reader that is he shown to be humanoid. I like the layout of the first three panels on the second page, showing the progression of the character as it falls, though the background remains the same. The reveal of the Creeper’s demonic visage is on 4 and he looks great! His reaction in the fourth panel to seeing the unkempt fence is great: looking up at the character from a low angle makes him gigantic. The close-up of his eyes in the last panel is perfection. There are a lot of detailed settings by Baal on this book and he really gets to start off well with the broken barn. Its exteriors are good and its interiors are just as impressive. The close-up of the teeth at the bottom of 5 is frightful. Once Devon enters the tale Baal creates familiar looking locations and props: an airplane, a city, cars, and a whole lot of people. It’s very impressive. The transition between Pages 9 and 10 is really neat, going from one person’s vehicle to another’s; you might miss it if you’re not paying close attention. A flashback sequence begins on 14 and it looks terrific. The arrival on 16 is excellent, building the anticipation for a reveal, that occurs on 17, expertly. The final page is a full-paged splash that shows the Creeper in his entirety, but it’s the background that impressed me, featuring iconic decorations. Baal is a solid choice to illustrate this tale. Overall grade: A

The colors: Colors are also key on this book. The sickly yellows and oranges of the first four pages tilt this tale in a skewed direction as the Creeper is slowly revealed. The blues of this character’s eyes are wonderful and the intense reds used on 5 make an action incredibly strong. Colorist Jorge Sutil then uses cool modern blues for Devon’s introduction. This color is often used for science or the modern world, which is in complete contrast to the opening pages almost biological coloring. Devon’s destination has some outstanding greens for vegetation and grays for stonework. Flat blues are used for an interior to nice effect. The flashback has gone an aged paper’s colors, enhancing and dating the visuals. I very happy to have Sutil on this book. Overall grade: A

The letters: One of my favorite letterers working today is Taylor Esposito. For this book he creates sounds, hisses, dialogue, narration, the Creeper’s dialogue, signage, whispers, and Spanish dialogue. Esposito creates such a wealth of different fonts for a book’s text, making them visually interesting to look upon. I love the unique font for the Creeper, visually separating him further from the regular people of this book. The dialogue and narration are not only differentiated from each other by the shape of their dialogue balloons and colors but by the fonts’ styles. The yells are also well done, resounding off the page when they appear. Esposito always does good work. Overall grade: A

The final line: Not enough of the book’s creature, but a story must be started before it can be unleashed. I’m confident that Andreyko will deliver with the story. The visuals of this book are a definite high point. Keep your eyes wide open to see what horrors await! Overall grade: A-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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