This is a bizarre and potentially interesting graphic novel. It’s about a suburb or small town in the 1970s and a set of high school students who contract and pass a kind of sexually transmitted cosmic body horror. It’s not as succinct about the ways in which the “disease” is contracted and spread as say “It Follows” but the two stories have some parallels. The disease itself seems to manifest with various skins lesions, maybe growing a tail, maybe your skin peeling off, facial distortions, and other presentiments. But the horrors of this might be made up, might be hallucinations, and might be mental distortions brought on by the alienation and isolation of teenage life and by the drinking and drug abuse that go along with those feelings.
Ultimately the book is incredibly obtuse with its plot and ideas, so while a lot is going on, nothing much happens and things dip in and out of liminality. I didn’t find the story particularly good and it felt kind of empty ultimately.
The thing I will say about the book is that the art is some of the best comic book art I’ve ever seen. It’s almost the opposite of My Favorite Thing is Monsters, which uses an almost carnivalesque mixing of noise and style to create a beautiful mess of a world (and there’s lots of parallels in these two books). Instead, this book uses black and white opaqueness with incredibly clean lines and print and stark and clear contrast. Every space, every line is sharp and crisp. There’s no strokes, no hatching, nothing. And so the effect of this is to show graphic, disgusting body horror, in clear but also almost anti-septic detail. The art is a perfect match for the tone of this book. The issue is that the book is almost entirely tone.