Eat The Rich continues to explore the realms of horror that come from some of the worst parts of our societal system, including how much some can overlook for their own benefit. This is truly one of the most visually distinct and unique looking books around and the art capture every horrific aspect of humanity and every piece of emotion from these engaging characters and their stories.
Throughout history, there have been many that find it ‘easier’ to put their head in the proverbial sand in order to deal with the harsh realities of life around us. It’s the age-old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ style of thinking.
The problem is these things do not go away and the more you ignore them the harder they will likely hit once reality once more comes knocking. That’s where Joey finds herself in Eat The Rich #3.
In the previous issues, Sarah Gailey has delved headfirst into not only the familiar realms of horror but wealth inequality and the completely different worlds that exist for the rich and everyone else. Here we get more into the sort of soap opera-style drama with the characters and how it all comes together, while also taking a look at how often we in society can ignore what is happening around us for our own benefit.
We get quite a bit of backstory here thanks to Astor’s stepmother Plum, who reveals that she was once in Joey’s shoes. Except Plum not only openly accepted this world but was the one who helped to develop it to what it is now with the contracts and more ‘civility’ to the proceedings.
While the brutal nature of what is being done is horrific in all respects, the character work from Gailey as these characters speak so hypocritically detached from all the events while some are proclaiming they do it out of love for the staff is the real horror. It’s a realistic slap in the face to just how detached and out of touch the rich are within most human societies, believing often that whatever they do is for a right or good reason. Even more horrifying is how much the staff buys into it because they have to in order to gain things in this broken system we live within.
Even the truth of why they eat the meat of those they kill and how it’s used against Joey is full of control aspects, which is the power of the rich. They can bend reality to their will in a way with their power and control and often their practiced manipulation.
Truly what Pius Bak and Roman Titov are doing in this book is incomparable. Every page is striking as there is such a moody and emotional heaviness to the work, every bit of worry and fear and concern or happiness radiating off the page in massive waves. Bak’s use of close-ups and various changes to the paneling ratchet up the emotional toll and horror, making one feel like they are right there in the middle of this story rather than being a fully impartial onlooker. There is so much detail that one has to keep a close eye on, or they might miss things, such as a severed hand upon a roof in the opening pages that didn’t register till the second read-through for myself.
Titov keeps the ominous feelings coming with masterful use of shadows as well as the varied and powerful color palates chosen for the different pages. Going with black and white but splashes of color for blood or other aspects for the flashbacks was a very nice touch. It not only showcases that they are flashbacks but instantly puts you on edge because they are horrific and dark flashbacks. The other pages range rapidly from seemingly normal and innocuous color choices that make things feel ‘normal’ in a sense right back to a variety of darker bright colors that begin to show how things are not quite right and moving back to horrific.
Horror stories can often be somewhat monotone in style, not dull or such but follow a certain pattern and style. Here Titov pulls out every color just about in their most bright and neon-like formats while keeping them muted in a way that doesn’t let them overtake anything but still provide a solid counterpart to the rest of the art. It makes it so that one doesn’t just choose one color that is associated with something horrific, as really all the colors might trigger that within this little world.
There are a ton of fantastic lettering choices through these issues that continue here from Cardinal Rae, but truly the big words that showcase Joey’s thoughts on a few pages are top-notch. Rather than just relying on the caption boxes, this blend of SFX and dialogue are unique and give us a really nice in-your-face view of these very important things within her mind at the moment. They are also unique in look as these thoughts aren’t just one color or style because thoughts are fluid and unique all the time. Just like snowflakes, no two thoughts are alike.
Eat The Rich #3 is now on sale in print and digitally from BOOM! Studios.