Not since Hellblazer has a horror comic had my attention like the first few issues of Nailbiter. It’s a fascinating concept: Buckaroo, Oregon has given birth to sixteen of the world’s worst serial killers, among them the titular Nailbiter. This is a guy who got his kicks by biting off the nails of his victims and sometimes getting a bit carried away and just gnawing their fingers down to the bone. Due to a technicality, the Nailbiter was released from prison and returned to Buckaroo to live out his days doing whatever it is that retired serial killers do in their later years. At the same time, Charles Kohl, a profiler for the FBI, has taken it upon himself to solve the mystery of the Nailbiter’s hometown. How could any place produce such a rogue’s gallery of murderous fiends? Kohl’s longtime friend Nicholas Finch arrives in Buckaroo to assist him, only to find that the agent is missing. It seems the Nailbiter is up to his old tricks again… or is it someone even worse?
Writer Josh Williamson seems to take some of his cues from The Silence of the Lambs, Se7en, and where the strange town of Buckaroo is concerned, even Twin Peaks. Being a huge fan of all three, I tore through the first two issues of Nailbiter and found them well-written and, along with Mike Henderson’s stylish art, clear and concise. I sometimes find myself getting confused with certain comics as it seems there’s a lack of communication between writer and artist. This can lead to mushy-looking pages that don’t carry the narrative as well as was intended. This is not the case with Nailbiter. It’s a great book to read as well as look at and once I finished issue two, I found myself actually pissed off that my local comic store was out of July’s issue, the third in the series. Well, now I have a mission on Saturday morning.
I’m very excited to see where Nailbiter ends up. With sixteen serial killers’ histories to delve through, I can only imagine that the upcoming issues will be a twisted experience indeed. Issue number four is out August 6th. To find out if your local retailer carriers Nailbiter, click here.
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