BuyIndieComics.com reviewed Ichabod Jones 1 & 2 and interviewed its creator, Russell Nohelty. A couple of times actually. So, “We are pretty well versed in the world of Monster Hunting”. Or so we thought. And then we read issues 3 & 4 where things get turned around and sent in a new direction – like Ichabod and his friends escaping the insane asylum for the insanity of the outside world. Well, kinda the outside world – we still spend a lot of time fighting monsters that may or may not be inside Ichabod’s head. Oh, and we still have that lingering voice that Ichabod talks to all of the time but no one else seems to hear. Yeah, see, there’s some crazy stuff going on here.
Ichabod Jones is a really dark book. Much of the third issue is spent in the belly of a beast; some Dune-like sandworm (Shai-Hulud for the Dune readers in the post) that is reminiscent of Jonah and the Whale. It’s freaky and gross, involves worms and digestive acid inside the creatures gut and wow, it’s fun. The writing and especially the art are really strong here – it’s easy to get an intense sense of action and there are some nice elements involved in the setting up of events.
But it’s issue 4 of Ichabod Jones where things get even scarier because the protagonist and his friends have to deal with humans that are far more crazy and villainous than the sandworm that tried to eat Ichabod and his friends. There are panels in this issue that involve torture and are just downright difficult. Part of what makes these panel gruesome is the juxtaposition of Renzo Podesta’s cartoony, action-filled, could-be-wholesome art against the actions that are happening. And that is one of the absolute beauties of this book. Podesta brings a wonderful irreality-rooted-in-reality to the book that pairs nicely like wine with dinner alongside Nohelty’s bizarre exploration of a crazy-man and his personal monsters.
I’d love to see this book continue. It’s inventive and well-crafted and has established a world with huge potential.