From the mind of Liz Valasco and published by Tinto Press is The Seeker, a spooky Halloween tale featuring an unnamed, ghost costumed, trick-or-treat bucket wielding young woman who can’t leave secrets alone and is in it for the scare. Playing opposite her is Rob, a skeptical teen who is dealing with his own business and thinks she should just grow up.
Rob is doing what teens do for Halloween, hanging with his best bud and a person he’s kind of into in the woods while all the young kids run around town. Though he doesn’t feel the spirit of the season he does want to be with his friends and it takes his mind off of his deceased Grandpa and the garage full of stuff he’ll have to sift through in the near future… or so he thinks.
In these seemingly haunted woods with his friends Rob is found by our unnamed seeker, and her trick-or-treat bucket doesn’t seem quite as innocent as it once did. This is a story of magic with a definite urban legend vibe, and a nostalgic 80’s feel with the way these characters interact.
I think the way Valasco has written these characters will feel very familiar to folks from small towns. Being someone from a small town myself, the voices were something I was able to latch on to, and the idea that there is something a bit more that resides where you live is a fun concept. The real moment of surprise for me came at the end. Reading this book I found it hard to predict the trajectory, on the surface the story seems innocent and playful but when a few things start to get weird the line from point A to point B is blurred, leaving the reader unclear about who the protagonist and antagonist truly are, and leaving the fate of this Halloween night up for question.
Valasco’s art has a lot of feeling in it. Every character model had a very clear emotion and body language, leading to character clarity and unspoken development (i.e. Rob’s interactions with his crush, Lana). When the spooking begins, things are skewed just enough to make you feel that there is a danger, though you don’t quite know what that danger is. It’s clear it is present as the story progresses and the environments shift from the domestic to the lush and dark woods. On that subject I’d also like to mention Liz’s shading, which ties in the parts that you are supposed to feel are otherworldly.
The Seeker is a story that anyone can gain something from. It’s a Halloween horror story that won’t make you cringe, a story of teenage growth and dealing with loss, and a general “life in a small town” book. All the elements and characters work well together and at the end you look at the story with different eyes. This book is around 70 pages long, and I found it to be equal parts harrowing and casual. If you’re looking for a story that is nothing but fun (with a touch of hauntings) then you’ve GOT to check out Liz Valasco’s The Seeker. This comic was my first introduction to Liz’s work and I’m really looking forward to more. You can buy The Seeker here.