I had the honor to receive this book for review purposes from writer, John Ward. This book, titled “Scratcher,” is currently available on Kindle and on ComiXology. “Scratcher” is created by John Ward and Juan Romera, artwork and cover are by Juan Romera, and lettering is done by Eric Grissom. “Scratcher” is published by Arbutus Comics and has twenty-five B&W digital pages.
Looking at the cover, readers will notice a tattoo on a girl’s arm, and a blue bird with blood dripping underneath it. But if you take a closer look…you’ll see the form the blood pattern is taking. This is when readers will realize what kind of book they’ll be reading, and the bloody horrors they’re about to witness. Immediately, readers are introduced to the protagonist of this series, Dee, and she’s slowly “scratching” on a guy’s back…or is she? Awaking from a bad dream, we see Dee on the phone with a guy named Floyd, but he’s not responding. Dee’s not too happy about this, and shortly after she heads on over to the tattoo studio.
What Dee witnesses at the tattoo studio is beyond words. Something unusual. Something horrifying. Something unexplained. Readers will be left wondering, “What is going on here?” This is the turning point for Dee, as she makes…changes. Going through a list of four of her clients, Dee makes some phone calls to see if they’re safe. From this list of Dee’s clients, readers will have the impression that they’ll be key players in future installments of this series.
Shortly after, Dee narrates about her past, how she wanted to go to an art school out East, somewhere different. This is when readers will truly understand where Dee’s coming from and why she’s a scratcher. More gory moments follow a few panels later, and we see what direction Dee’s going; the things she has to do to help her clients out. This is just the beginning, and it’s going to be an interesting ride until the end.
Overall, when I heard the book’s description, “A guilt-ridden tattoo artist discovers her clients are being possessed by the tattoos she gave them,” I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I expected was horror, gore, and tattoos within these B&W pages, but what about the story, does it have merit? The story will have readers thinking until the very end. So many questions came across my mind. Some things weren’t fully resolved within this premiere issue, BUT…this is good, because I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. First issues are difficult. In addition to character introductions, the plot has to make sense, but most importantly, it has to keep the audience interested from beginning to end…
…this book did just that. From cover to cover, this series is heading in the right direction. The story gives us enough to satisfy, but leaves it equivocal as to not reveal too much. The artwork is nicely illustrated, readers will feel the nauseating moments with Dee. “Scratcher: Part One” is bloody, gory, and will make people think twice when having a scratcher ink them up…this book should not be passed up! “Scratcher” can be purchased on Kindle HERE, and on ComiXology HERE. I rate “Scratcher: Part One,” 4.7 out of 5 Geek-Heads, definitely worth checking out.
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