Plunge by author Joe Hill, Illustrations Stuart Immonen
Plunge is a graphic novel mini series written by Joe Hill for his Hill House line of DC comincs. Hill had fantastic success with Locke and Key so it’s good to see him continue in the comic book meidum. He seems to understand how illustrations can fully enhance storytelling.
Plunge, however, is not Hill’s greatest work, comic book or otherwise. It’s a seaward horror tale that delves into the grotesque and supernatural. But even with all of that it’s overly wordy and ultimately adds up to nothing more than boring. It is hard to find the perfect balance in a graphic novel of prose to images, this book attempted to be too literary.
The best part of Plunge is the images, they provide most of the horror of the book. The artwork succeeds where the wordiness fails. It would be difficult to showcase the best parts without ruining the shock value though. That would be like a horror movie trailer that shows off all of the best jump scares! I hate that, I’m not going to do that to you so here’s a less spoiler-y page:
The book is dark and ominous, attempting to create a thick foggy atmosphere of horror. The problem is that it takes it in too many directions. It has trouble focusing on one scary thing and instead throws everything onto the page. Just when I thought I had figured out what was going on they added more. It became jumbled and I lost interest. It probably also doesn’t help that I am completely unfamiliar with what it’s like to be out at sea. I’m a landlocked kind of gal.
Honestly, at this point it’s been weeks since I read Plunge and even after I read through my notes I’m struggling to remember what happened in it. That’s never a good sign. Being forgetable is a great sin for any form of entertainment. But as we’ve seen from Joe Hill before, his quality varies wildly. This also means that other readers may have different opinions on which of his books are the best or worst.
This is not a bad thing. Joe Hill takes risks. He tries new things. They don’t always hit. But that’s okay because at least he’s not telling the same story over and over again. When he does hit it’s freaking great. So I’ll keep reading him, patiently waiting for that next hit.
3/5 boats 🚢🚢🚢
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Buy it here: Plunge (Hill House Comics)