By Cat Wyatt
Sonitus is a new series by Alterna Comics with a wonderfully creepy tone to the story. Fans of supernatural suspense stories would probably love to give this one a try, especially if they prefer the slower windup style of storytelling.
The main character (name not mentioned) suffers from an odd form of tinnitus; he hears strange noises all the time, but no doctor has been able to find a reason or cause for them (I’m going to assume they ruled out any psychological causes as well?). Have you ever had an ear infection where your ears started ringing? Imagine that, but louder and constant, and that’s more or less what I’m picturing the main character’s experience to be like (though I’m leaning towards the ‘more’ side of things).
With something that persistent and no help or sympathy to be found, it’s really no surprise he took such drastic steps himself. In a desperate attempt to find some peace and quiet he went back to his childhood town. It’s one of those locations that’s (not so) slowly being taken back by the swamps, so it’s pretty much abandoned. It should theoretically be the perfect place to find some quiet. But I think we know better.
Meandering through the near ruins of one house, he can’t help but reminisce about the friends he used to hang out with. Whatever happened to them anyway? Did they drop off the map, just like he himself hopes to do? Or did they simply fade into society?
Can you imagine how creepy it would be to be wondering around, alone in an abandoned house, only to hear a sudden and loud noise? I’d probably flee from the house as fast I could (hopefully without leaving any questionable trails in my wake), but apparently our character is made of sterner stuff. That’s not to say he wasn’t freaked out, but he didn’t run either.
I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I was always told that when home alone and hearing strange noises to ‘never ever go and investigate those sounds.’ I don’t think this guy got that memo, that or he decided it wasn’t an option (wouldn’t the creator of the sound theoretically find him anyway if it meant him harm?).
It’s around here the horror element starts to raise its ugly (and creepy) head. I can’t even begin to guess at what he faces here, but it’s a very visual and eerie tale, to be sure. In the end of the altercation he seems to be just as confused as anyone else, which isn’t comforting.
If the events before the altercation hadn’t made you flee the building, sure the…event itself would have, right? Nope, not for this guy. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t believe it really happened? Maybe he wants to find proof one way or the other? Regardless, he chose to stay to find…well something, but I don’t think he was expecting what he found.
This was a really intriguing start to a new story. I’m not going to pretend I know what he’s up against, but I’m certainly invested in seeing what happens to him. The storytelling style reminds me of a blend between Lovecraft and Stephen King, which is a pretty interesting mix.
The artwork was so disturbing and perfect for the story being told. It seems like at least half of the tale is being told visually, so finding the perfect art style to go with it was exceptionally important. The style has a slightly rougher and more organic feel to it, and combined with the color palettes (duller at some points, brighter in others) it gives us a cohesive feeling of the setting, mood, and tone of the narrative.