Flinch is a horror anthology graphic novel by various authors and artists. When I picked it up I thought it would be about 4 stories, turns out it’s dozens, but I made it exactly 4 before deciding to not finish this book. With any anthology you’re going to have some that you just don’t like as much as others but I feel that if I really dislike the first 4 it’s not looking good for the rest of them. Here is a brief rundown of the ones I did read:
Story, Richard Bruning Art, Jim Lee
A man wants to build a rocket suit so that he can fly, when trying it out he blows up his whole family instead. That’s it, about 2 pages long.
Story, Jen Van Meter Art, Frank Quietly
A viagra like pill turns old men into savage rapists. Women fear for their lives and seem apparently helpless to save themselves in any way. Yeahhhh…. gross. Once again we see sexism work both ways. Women weak and fearful and men unable to control their baser urges.
Wolf Girl Eats
Story, Bruce Jones Art, Richard Corben
This one is offputting in both the story and art. It’s drawn like a sepia toned School House Rock and a lot of the characters look more like ventriloquist dummies than humans. It’s about a group of missionaries that come to a small town to save them from hell.
They discover a “wolf girl” trapped there who is basically just a naked woman in a pit. The priest cannot control (this again) his urge to rape her and his young disciple who may be romantically involved with him doesn’t want him to give into sin so he tries to murder her. Then the town sticks the priest in a viewing stadium to be eaten by wild animals for their amusement.
Maggie and Her Microscope
Story, Dean Motter Art, Bill Sienkiewicz
I usually love Sienkiewicz’s art but here it looks like it was done on an etch a sketch. Maggie is a young girl who has been diagnosed with autism. Her father is some sort of germ scientist who takes his deadly work home with him.
Maggie and her cat get exposed and also somehow create an antidote. Her nanny is an abusive harpie and her father is neglectful. Neither of them try to talk to her about anything ever and just want to send her away. A confusing story more than anything else.
I can’t imagine that the rest of this horror anthology got any better. Yes, it is horrific to be raped, hunted, tortured, murdered etc. But there is a way to portray that that would be less overtly sexist than this. Also, it’s concerning that two of the first four stories contained men gleefully raping women. It wasn’t condemned in a way that would make it feel more appropriate.
I love the horror genre and Flinch is a disgrace.
I wouldn’t recommend this book and I will not be continuing it.
1/5 microscopes 🔬
For a much better and not totally sexist horror comic book I would suggest Basketfull of Heads.
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If you want a horror anthology graphic novel series that I liked a little bit more, check out Ice Cream Man. But it here: Ice Cream Man Volume 1: Rainbow Sprinkles