Proctor Valley Road #2 is published by BOOM! Studios. It comes from the creative team of writers Grant Morrison and Alex Child, artist Naomi Franquiz, colorist Tamra Bonvillain, and letterer Jim Campbell. After their disastrous haunted tour, the girls have found themselves in hot water. With the disappearance of the three boys they took with them, they are being accused of assisting in draft dodging. The girls are interrogated by the police, to no real effect. However, their notoriety in Proctor Valley has grown and with it, they find unwanted celebrity.
Hiding out at the city dump, the girls notice that each of them bears a glowing mark. Two letters that, when put together, spells out “LANDLADY.” That night, August gets into a fight with her mom and decides to take matters into her own hands. She takes a gun left behind by her absent father and hits the road. By nightfall she reaches the desert and begins searching for the boys. But what she finds while alone in that great emptiness is more chilling and deadly than she could ever imagine.
Proctor Valley Road #2 is a strong, if not a little disjointed, follow-up to a solid first issue. The plot moves briskly but never feels confusing. At times it can feel like the characters are all a little too easy-going about the bizarre and terrifying events. But, at the same time, they don’t seem to take anything from their normal day-to-day lives very seriously either. It creates a strange, but fun tale looking at how the exceedingly counter-culture-oriented youths of the 70s would handle a ghost story. Sure they get scared, but they also just don’t have much time for all that nonsense.
This is aided by the eclectic group of protagonists. Each one has their own issues at home that seem to occupy more of their mind than the supernatural ever does. To us, this seems strange, but considering the real-world horrors that surrounded people in that era it makes a lot more sense. How can you be worried about ghosts and monsters when the Vietnam war is raging on?
The art is great and every panel is a highly detailed joy to look at. Whether the focus is on the vivid emotions on our heroes’ faces or a grisly scene of horror, every page is dynamic. The colors do a wonderful job of making everything feel sun-soaked while also having a lot of variety so as not to feel bland. The letters do a wonderful job of making the read easy, while also adding to the story. Particularly how the letters become lighter when a character is whispering to themself.
Overall, Proctor Valley Road #2 is a strong follow-up to the first issue that improves on it in every way. The characters feel more fleshed out and realistic. The art hits all of the same strong notes, and the horror is beginning to ramp up. If you’re a fan of Stranger Things and you aren’t reading this series, you’re missing out.
Proctor Valley Road #2 is available wherever comics are sold.
Proctor Valley Road #2
Proctor Valley Road #2 is a strong follow-up to the first issue that improves on it in every way.