REVIEW: Bone Parish, Vol. 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s only been a few months since the last issue of Cullen Bunn’s Harrow County hit the shelves. But those months have felt like ages. It’s just not New Comic Book Day without hope of Bunn’s horror stylings. Luckily for us, Bunn is back with a new Horror series from BOOM! Studios to chill our hearts. Let’s take a look at Bone Parish Vol 1 written by Bunn, with art from Jonas Scharf, colors by Alex Guimarães and letters from Ed Dukeshire.

Bone Parish follows the Winters, an organized crime family based out of New Orleans. Matriarch Grace Winters sits at the head of the family, while her children Brae, Leon, Wade, and Brigitte handle business operations on a day to day basis. The Winters manufacture and distribute the drug known as “Ash” on the streets of New Orleans. At the start of this volume, business is booming. Ash is more popular than ever, with demand far exceeding the supply, while rival crime families seek to get in on the action.

What sets the Winters apart from their rivals is their product. Unlike other drugs, Ash isn’t something any chemist can whip up in a lab. Only Brigitte Winters knows how to make Ash, but everyone knows what it’s made from. Ash, you see, is derived from the remains of the dead.

On its surface, the series looks like a normal crime saga with a macabre twist. You’ve got Italian mob families looking to expand their territory, Mexican Cartels who don’t play by the rules, and just enough high caliber shootouts to keep you flipping pages.

But there’s more to Bone Parish than meets the eye. The truth, as the Winters would say, is in the Ash. Not only is the drug made from the dead, it channels the dead. Each trip sends users reeling through a hallucinogenic journey into another person’s life. Experienced users are even able to harness their Ash, channeling the deceased’s skills and memories in order to use them as their own. Others use the Ash to see shades of the dead, Ghosts who seem as real as you or me.

Throughout Vol 1 the Winters struggle to adapt to their newfound success as threats emerge from the outside, all while tension builds within the Family. Brae and Brigitte find themselves constantly at odds, while Leon and Wade try to find their place in the ever-expanding business.

Jonas Scharf’s interior art is a perfect compliment to Bone Parish‘s eerie tale. Scharf captures the Gothic romance of New Orleans, as well as the city’s seedier elements. And of course, his nightmarish depictions of Ash trips gone bad will have the gorehounds howling for more.

Crime drama and family drama go hand in hand, but in the pages of Bone Parish, it truly feels like Bunn and company have crafted something we haven’t seen before. Vol 1 sets the stage for a supernatural crime epic, and I can’t wait to read more.

 

Bone Parish Vol. 1
4.5

TL;DR

Crime drama and family drama go hand in hand, but in the pages of Bone Parish, it truly feels like Bunn and company have crafted something we haven’t seen before.