Packing In The Review For ‘Hotell #2’

by Benjamin Hall

While the ‘normal’ physical and digital copies of this issue are still waiting to see release, publisher AWA Studios is releasing a chapter version on Webtoons. In other words, this review is both early and late. Those who are waiting on either of the whole versions of this issue may have a more enjoyable reading experience due to how the Webtoons version arguably ruins some of the tension. Though readers of either version will still get a rather intriguing horror story that actually adds to last issue’s tale. Unfortunately, these additions to the previous issue’s narrative means this series will be more coherent in the eventual collection.

As for the issue itself, it has a less eye-catching cover than the first issue’s. Though it is arguably just as full of details the water color type visual aesthetic makes some of the line work to appear lacking in confidence. Not to mention that the scantily clad woman on the cover suggests the interiors will be more tawdry than horrific. This is despite the factors of the weird visage in the suitcase (which if one knows their horror clichés will unfortunately spoil some of the story). Though one could easily assume that cover artist Keron Grant is trying for a pop art version of Der Schrei der Natur by the artist Edvard Munch. Unfortunately it is a bit of a failure.

On the other hand the art for this issue provides somewhat better pacing (when read in its whole version) than the issue prior. This is due to the credits page not looking like it is a part of the narrative. Yes, it still has a tangential connection to the narrative, but that is only cause of a slight, and sly, bit of symbolism. There is also a tiny bit more confidence in artist Dalibor Talajić’s line work. Not to mention that there are a few panels that display a bit more of this artist’s ability to make a static image feel dynamic.

Finally we get to the writing, colors, and lettering. The writing is a little better, if less creative, due to writer John Lees’ reliance on a few standard cliches and two rather old plots found in the horror genre. As for the lettering by Sal Cipriano, it is fine when it comes to displaying emotion, but the font style is about as interesting as looking over a 1980s courtroom stenographer’s notes. While the colors are mostly the same as last issue’s, there are some slight changes due to the differing time frames. Yet, colorist Lee Loughridge gets to shine as a creative in this issue with what might be some of his best work during the crux and end of the story. In conclusion, this issue is one that is slightly above average in overall quality.

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