Written By: Sloane Leong
Art By: Sloane Leong
Published By: Image Comics
If I had to pick two words to describe Prismstalker, the first would be “enchanting” and the second would be “trippy.” My gut tells me those words are at odds with each other, that enchanting experiences are calm and serene, that they’re whimsical and airy. Enchanting experiences are Studio Ghibli movies. Trippy experiences, on the other hand, are wild and sordid, colorful and loud. They’re Insane Clown Posse concerts.
Thankfully, we live in a world where both of those things can be squashed together. We live in a world with Primstalker.
Much of the second issue is spent in travel. Vep is leaving her home to visit an academy, and on the way she encounters a handful of eldritch-horror monsters and grotesque happenings. It is horrifying to an extent. If you’ve got claustrophobia, this book might make your skin crawl. The world of Prismstalker is organic and muddy, and it seems like every other page Vep is getting drenched in fluids and oozes that are not her own. It’s uncomfortable.
But it’s also gorgeous. The color pallet is psychedelic, with prominent pinks, greens, shiny blues, and deep purples. Every page is this delightful rainbow of colors and gradients, yet the pretty is being applied to the gross and terrifying. The monsters are unsettling, and they’re not very nice either. Vep is absorbed in a wall, and she visibly cringes as this thick, pink jelly covers her body and face. Much later, a similar experience is applied to her, though it’s in her mind. It’s that kind of horror you’d find in an H.P. Lovecraft story: The idea is scarier than the execution.
In a way, not a lot happens in this issue. Vep travels, experiences some flashbacks that are awash in unreliability due to the nature of their existence, and then she ends up at an academy. There’s hope, but there’s fear too. I’m afraid for her. I can’t imagine anything good coming from this academy.
The first issue of Prismstalker threw me off a bit, because I didn’t know what I was getting into. Now that I’m here, I’m addicted. I want more. This book is truly special, the kind of scifi you don’t even know can exist until it’s staring right at you. I’m enchanted. I’m feeling like I went on a wild ride, too.