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HAIRBALL #1 review – A really fun and emotional read (Kindt, T. Jenkins, H. Jenkins) Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist and Letterer: Tyler Jenkins
Colorist: Hilary Jenkins
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Assistant Editors: Chuck Howitt-Lease and Misha Gehr
Designer: Patrick Satterfield
Digital Art Technician: Allyson Haller

Thanks to Dark Horse for the review copy!

A new mini-series from one of the minds behind MIND MGMT, BRZKR, and ENIAC. An adopted young girl begins to experience strange and unusual events that she believes is somehow tied to her pet cat. When she attempts to rid herself of the cat she learns there may be something even more nefarious going on.

I’ve always been big fan of Matt Kindt. He’s done some of the most original and thought provoking work in comics. I’ve always admired someone who can both write and draw their own comics. He also was born in a small town outside of Buffalo, NY not far from where I grew up so it’s kind of cool to follow someone who hails from the same place you do. Many of the books he writes offer up a lot of character depth, detail, and emotional heft so his work is often very accessible and relatable in many ways. He only writes this particular series outside of tackling the fantastic cover but the addition of Tyler and Hilary Jenkins on the pencils and colors really adds a special touch. It’s a match made in heaven really. Everything just seems to blend really well together and you can tell that this wasn’t meant to be a quick money grab by the creative team. There was a lot of love, thought and detail put into the creation of this book as evident on every page of the first issue. Both the words and art tug at your heartstrings like the gentle plucking of guitar strings. Leading you swiftly from one page to next before it suddenly ends leaving you desperate to find out what happens next and also like you’ve been punched in the gut. It’s everything a book should make you feel and then some.

In this first issue there are large elements of the supernatural and macabre variety but the characters are still grounded in a very relatable, albeit sad, world. The main character, a young girl, is stuck in a situation where her adopted parents seem to be caught in constant turmoil and disagreement. One of the major arguments being whether they should have even adopted her or can love her the way they would have had she been their own blood. Witness to all of this, she’s left to her own devices much of the issue with just her pet cat to keep her company. She’s in counseling throughout the issue and it’s clear this poor child is struggling at home and without anyone besides her cat, Bestie, she can call a friend. As strange and deadly events start to happen around the home it’s clear the cat may be involved in some way. It may be her guardian and protector but it’s not 100% this is what the girl believes. There are also couple panels that lead you to believe there may be something evil lurking within the cat or within the girl. Maybe both? It’s too early to tell but there is definitely something weird going on that I assume we will learn more about as we move forward. The book has a very Manga feel to it in that mysterious and uneasy way. It’s colored in a way that’s intentionally both very dark and claustrophobic at times and then suddenly bright and bombastic. It’s a roller coaster ride of sorts. I believe it’s a fresh and original take on grief and the emotional toll it can take on us. The darkness that chokes us and squeezes us so tight we become numb to any feelings. It’s possible the cat is just a construct of the girl’s mind as a defense mechanism but it’s not all clear yet. We shall see! Nonetheless, I’m very curious to see where this goes and it was just a really fun and emotional read as I expected.

My rating 9/10 – Great!

Hairball #1 is set for release on April 5th, 2023.

Are you going pick up the comic? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter at @TheConCollectve!

We’re always looking for new writers that are truly passionate about stuff – we give you the review materials, the platform and the support to say what you feel from the heart. If you’d like to write opinion pieces about pop culture topics or reviews, reach out to us using the contact us form.

Corey Newell
Corey Newell
“Just a guy who loves comics, movies and stuff” ⁃ Independent blogger, dad, dork, comic nerd and pop culture lover hailing from Spencerport, NY

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