Day #15: Silent Hill (Comics)

comics-and-games-5Silent Hill | IDW Publishing

Synopsis:

There are several story arcs available in the Silent Hill series, which deal with a range of stories. However, their primary focus is on the paranormal events that have occurred in the town of Silent Hill over the years.

My take:

There’s a bit of danger in writing about the Silent Hill comics in just one post, because they span the work of several writers and artists. So, I’ll acknowledge straight up that this is the case, and note that not every comment is true of every comic.

Having said that, it seems fair to say that the earlier comics by Scott Cieincin are of a much lower quality than the work of Tom Waltz, both in terms of the writing and the artwork.

These earlier comics lack the cohesiveness between the script, the story, and the artwork that’s necessary to tell a story properly in this format. It’s hard to keep track of what’s happening, and the characterisation – particularly of Alessa – is pretty weak. There’s no real work done to explain what’s happening, why it’s happening, or what the consequences are – and this is true both of the individual story arcs, and of their connection to each other. They kind of just meander all over the place, achieving very little despite all the action.

The comics written by Tom Waltz, on the other hand, are much better. They have the internal cohesiveness that the work of Cieincin’s lacked; and the illustration is not only pleasing to look at, but manages to both tie the story together, and visually acknowledge the abstract, chaotic nature of the world of Silent Hill.

If you’re interested in giving Silent Hill a go, I’d recommend skipping over the first few story arcs and going from there. Or, skip to Past Life if you feel like a dip into the history of Silent Hill, without dealing with the messier stories.

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