Dandy Don the Valiant’s Review: HOTELL #1 – Psycho Meets the Twilight Zone!
Writer: John Lees
Artist: Dalibor Talajic
Cover Artist: Karen Andrews
Publisher: AWA Studios
Order this issue from comiXology
Oh, hey, Mom. I’m writing another review for Outright Geekery. Yes, I still work there. No, I still don’t get paid. Yes, I’ll still be living in your basement a little while longer. Ugh! But, hey, I’d rather live here than in AWA’s Hotell. No, Mom, they are not hiring. It’s not a real hotel, it’s a comic book. Yes, reviewing comics is a real job. Yes, it is! Geesh! Sorry about that, OG peeps. Now, let’s get to this week’s Dandy Don the Valiant’s weekly review.
The original Twilight Zone is my favorite science fiction television series of all-time. Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favorite horror/suspense movie writer/directors of all-time (with Psycho, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, and Vertigo being some of my favorites). So many legendary stories from each of those commodities that will always stand the test of time. Writer John Lees seems to have combined both of those genres with his Hotell #1 for the AWA Studios (Artists, Writers, & Artisans, Inc.) Upshot company. Whether that was his intention or not, he has penned the beginning of a four part mini-series that could become legendary in itself.
Pierrot Hotel is a strange little hotel, to say the least, with only the individual lights of “h”, “e”, and “l” lit up with another “l” painted alongside those other letters (get it?). So, why would anyone check-in there? Jack Lynch, the clerk at Pierrot Hotel (although some panels show it as Pierrot Courts), explains it to his new guest this way: “The sign. Maybe you’ve driven down Route 66 a hundred times and never seen that sign. But tonight, you did…Some things, not all eyes are meant to see…If you’re truly desperate for shelter, sanctuary, or secrecy? Perhaps then you’ll find it. Or maybe it’s a case of it finding you.” It definitely found the pregnant Alice who is on the run from her abusive husband. What happens after that has to been seen/read to believe. What a bizarre and twisted ending! Call your LCS today and add this to your pull list if you love this type of genre. But be forewarned, the AWA issues are definitely for mature readers with its language and violence. This issue even has nudity in it, so buyer beware.
Writer John Lees has written some strangely unique stories in his career, but I think he has found a home at AWA. Dalibor Talajic is setting the perfect macabre mood with his art, while Lee Loughridge uses his vivid colors to bring the horror full circle. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If AWA continues with these kinds of books, writers, and artists, this company will rise to the top of the Independents in no time. While it’s virtually impossible to bypass Marvel and DC in sales, the writing that AWA is putting out is better than anything the big two are doing right now.
What’s that, Mom? What’s the difference between a hotel and your basement? I don’t know, what’s the difference? Well, yes, you do have to pay to stay in a hotel. Ha, ha. Very funny, Mom. Oh, boy.