Patrick D. Pidgeon won me over immediately with his morbid but thrilling Creeple Peeple. It’s a fantastic book that brings likable characters to life and pits them against a small horde of devious creatures willing to tear through anything in their path… because that’s basically (there’s a bit more to it… which is actually REALLY cool) what they do. After reviewing the graphic novel Patrick reached out to let me know he’s got another piece under his belt, The Frightmare Man, a graphic novel loosely based on David Wiltshire’s novel, The Nightmare Man.
I confess, I’ve never read The Nightmare Man. But I have now read The Frightmare Man, which is a busy book loaded with all sorts of military mayhem, mutated soldiers and unorthodox zombies. The story essentially deposits a dedicated man of service on a Canadian stretch of land. All sounds well, except for the fact that said man is the focus of a major betrayal and warfare experience. A unique set of circumstances I won’t entirely divulge (gotta keep the mystery alive) have rendered the man a brain melting mutant and anyone on the island of Inverness is a potential victim. Can the monster be stopped before the death toll reaches ridiculous numbers, or is Inverness destined to turn into an ossuary?
Frightmare Man isn’t quite as polished as Creeple Peeple, I’ll openly admit to that. The artwork looks great (hats off to Zak Hennessy who does an excellent job) with a cool black and white layout that creates something of a throwback essence to the aesthetics, and the story concept is awfully addictive. But the story hits a few rough patches that may not sit well with readers. The key problem, in my opinion, is the fact that the story has just been too condensed. This one needs a lot of room to breathe and develop, and it isn’t really afforded the chance. It feels a little to cramped, for lack of a better term. With another 20-40 pages injected with some smaller details, closer examination of the turmoil at hand and deeper character development, this is a certified smash hit.
Although Frightmare Man didn’t steal my heart the way that Creeple Peeple did, my faith in Patrick D. Pidgeon hasn’t wavered one bit. Not in the slightest. He’s clearly showcased an ability to really, really develop as a storyteller (he also shows some of that flare here as he keeps the book’s primary villain under wraps for half of the book, which I deeply appreciated), and I’m all for that. I’ll also continue to show my hardcore support for not only a talented genre contributor, but a damn nice guy!