Comic Review: The Chair

Published: July 30th, 2008
Written by: Peter Simeti
Art by: Kevin Christensen, Peter Simeti

Alterna Comics, 133 Pages


I’ve wanted to give The Chair a read for awhile. I had the first issue for some time now but I wasn’t able to round up the other ones until more recently, as Alterna has become so popular, as of late, that it took longer than usual to get my latest order. But I’m okay with that, as I want to see this company grow and succeed because they are making comics unlike anyone else, right now.

The Chair is probably the most known of Alterna’s titles. It was written by Peter Simeti, who is the man behind the company and the guy that literally does everything behind the scenes. Also, this was the one Altrerna book (but hopefully not the last) to be adapted into a motion picture and the cherry on top of that is that the film featured Rowdy Roddy Piper in his final acting role.

I wanted to give this a read, as I want to see the movie adaptation. Plus, I enjoyed the bit that I read already. Originally this was a graphic novel but it has since been broken out and re-released as four single issue comics.

The tone is dark, extremely dark. Each panel feels as if it is brooding within its own shadows, as if some evil is lurking in the dark ink, staring back at you. To be honest, the art style, at first, was kind of off putting. It’s incredibly primal, unrefined and gritty to the point that it looks as if it were quickly sketched while in a manic frenzy.

However, the art is just as much a part of the story and as you turn every page, you get pulled further into the narrative and visual style and both are very complimentary of one another. So, at first glance, it’s hard on the eyes but you sort of adjust to the chaos of it and it works. I’m not sure if that was intentional or if it just sort of evolves in your brain that way.

I like that the direction of the story wasn’t as obvious as it seemed in the beginning and how little reveals make this grim reality more clear.

In the end, this was really interesting, surprising and a pretty effective use of the comic book medium.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other Alterna releases but the more adult titles. Still this is very much a story that is pretty original and is hard to pair up because of that.