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Winnebago Graveyard #2: 09/08/17

Winnebago Graveyard #2 by Steve Niles

Winnebago Graveyard #2 by Steve Niles continues the misadventures of a family stuck in a menacing town after their Winnebago is stolen from a roadside carnival.

In my review of issue #1 I noted that: "Winnebago Graveyard sits at the intersection (or crossroads, if you will) of the road not taken and crossing the cornfields categories." I went on to say that wether this series is a road not taken or a crossing (escaping) the cornfield story would depend on the town's relationship to the carnival. If the carnival is a trap for outsiders, then it's a road not taken story, where as if the town is as much under the spell as the family is likely to be if caught, then it's a crossing (or escaping) the cornfield story.

Detail of the panel showing the hotel sign looming over the family as they realized they're trapped.

Issue 2 opens with the family being sent to the only hotel in the town. This hotel looms in the background as the mother complains: "Well it did happen and now we're stuck." The hotel is run by a woman who could be Mrs. Bates's twin, another instant clue that the hotel won't be a safe place, but is as the mother supposes, just another part of the trap that they are now in.

Detail of the panel showing introducing the woman who runs the hotel. She gives me a Mrs. Bates vibe.

Now as this is a short arc — only four issues — there's only so much that can be done in each issue. Just as if this were a classic four part Doctor Who, there's an expected plot progression: introduction of characters and introduction of the thing that is wrong; realization that things are really bad followed by lots of running and hiding; either getting caught and needing to escape, or finding safe haven with a group not somehow affected by the bad thing; fighting back and saving the day — or completely losing.

Issue 2 has a lot of running and hiding from the torch bearing cultists shown briefly in the start of Issue 1.

As this issue ends with the summoning of "Dark Spirit" it's looking more and more likely that Winnebago Graveyard is road not taken horror. Now if this were a Doctor Who, the story would be turned around in the last issue, revealing that most of the townsfolk were under the spell of the evil influence, and thus were just as trapped as the Doctor and Companions. As this comic, though, seems to be going for a straightforward horror feel, I'm guessing our family isn't long for the world.

Four stars

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