FOUKE, AR- It’s a creature with many names, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and most notably known to people in Fouke, Arkansas, it is called the Fouke Monster. For years, many (including myself) have questioned the ape-like humanoid’s existence. Is the Fouke Monster really out there? I’ll always be interested in what people think of this thing, but how do you deliver the story in a comic book medium that people will actually want to read. It needs to be scary, and for sure it needs to be weird.
Weird is a difficult thing to aim for. It’s one thing if a creative work generates an off-center aesthetic by accident or opaque genius. But the execution so that something feels eerie and gives off that creepy feeling is much harder if an entire audience knows where you’re trying to wind up. It’s the problem that’s staring right in the face of the Ken Daniel’s FOUKE the newest version of a Fouke Monster story.
The Fouke story is complex and entrenched in so many sub storylines, with so many characters in this story, there were a lot of underlying subplots and I had to take a knee a couple of times to research and figure out who and what I was reading about.
Fouke starts of by introducing Chrissy and her partner Lisa as they try to enjoy a morning meal at the local diner…and that is the most normal thing that happens in the story, because there is the side story-line where Lisa’s dead mother intercedes, and we get to see a trippy landscape inside her mind fueled by desperation from beyond the grave. What Ken Kaniel has managed to do is very patiently build a vivid mind-scape for Lisa’s Mom that allows her to describe type of world in which a Fouke Monster would be possible.
Out of 5 stars I give it a 3. The art in Fouke was actually really good, I just wish Kaniel had more time than just the 1 issue to flesh out this story. I appreciated that Kaniel was trying to insert some emotion and realism into the comic, but there were several panels that felt out-of-place that Kaniel’s would probably have liked to illustrate his point in a little more detail, but suddenly had to move on for the sake of moving the story along. Otherwise this was just a good read and the art was otherworldly.
Story/Art: Ken Kaniel
Published: January 2018
96 pgs. B&W
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