Pardon me for a moment Primus … but you should be one for poetry, prose, and the scent of an otherworldly rose because you’ll get one hell of a kick out of this Fearscape show. After being blown away with the entry of O’Sullivan’s novelique (did I make up a word) approach to this story in comic form, he’s done what his White Noise partners have done with Friendo. They’ve turned the the volume up to 11 and cranked the amp to boot.
What struck me immediately upon finishing the second installment is the play on Henry. Yes, the whole thing with the series that he’s a fraud and has been drawn into (ha ha) a very real situation that only, you know, carries the fate of everything. And, this is the thing about the presentation of Henry. It is phenomenal. The vastness, complexity, and overbearing nature of the Fearscape is not only demonstrated, but personified through the portrayal of Henry himself. For instance, he basically tells the Muse that he doesn’t care about the how and why of the Weeping Castle. After being told the ‘what’ of it, he’s done. That’s a pretty apt representation of a plagiarist. Swipe the details and fluff the rest. No time for exposition and world building because we just need to copy the headlines! Of course this brings about another host of problems in of itself. The introspective piece of Fearscape lies within the darker half of human nature. Everyone has issues and tries to cover them up. Everyone wants more but tries to do the least amount of work to get it. Everyone lies too. It’s a nasty recipe for a human being and Henry is the foulest soup in the kitchen. What we end up with is a train wreck that we can’t take our eyes away from.
The real genius lies even deeper in the process but at the surface of the book. Henry knows we’re there. He knows we’re watching, “listening,” and taking in everything. So it would follow that we know he’s as phony as a 3$ bill right? Not so fast friends. Henry is either really that stupid, or really that smart. The manner in which he speaks TO the fourth wall would have you think he’s painfully oblivious to the fact we KNOW what he is. His misdirection, slight of word, and constant trying to show us something shiny over there lends to him being faithful to his ruse. Though, how could he even attempt to do this? Certainly there’s more at play here … Henry simply HAS to have more layers than even he’s aware of. That’s why, on top of every other masterful layer of this book, this book hooks you. It tells all by not telling you anything … and everything all at once. We’re also treated to, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful books out there. For the story to work on the grand scale it is meant to encompass it has to not only FEEL, but LOOK to be what it says it is. No question about it. It does and is. There is no doubt just how deep we’re already in with just the first step through the doorway. The Fearscape is presented in a manner that rivals the audacity of Henry himself. That’s how fantastic of a place our story is occupying.
As we’re left at the end of the issue it is with the rational fear of self. What is in our heart? Who are we? For most it’s a simple ask but for Henry it is amplified on an unimaginable scale. He isn’t just lying to himself or a sibling, but to fate itself. How’s that for a tall tale? Fearscape takes us on a ride through what can be the most dangerous place for all of us … ourselves. While our minds can dream up the scariest of places none are as terrifying as the inner workings of the mind itself.
So who are you?