The fact that he's forgotten is honestly more terrifying than a lot of the other things that have happened so far. The town has Wadsworth noooooooo.
And the shadows just fell across his door. Something about that last panel, man- it brings back memories of eyes glowing in the dark, and skeletons wrapped in rags.
I mean, with this comic, I've started mentally preparing myself for the mayor to peel his face off or something.
um . . . . wow
more like a hole in his face
This is the first time I've ever commented on a comic. First off, love it. It's fantastic. Fantastically drawn, fantastically paced, and at just the right times fantastically scary. This strip, however is the only time I've been brought to an actual, physical, verbal response. For a minute all I could say when I read "Say hello to your father for me" and Iris' response was 'Ooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.' That hits hard after everything in the first book. You've raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly, sir. Bravo!
I had to go back into the archives because I forgot whether or not Iris's dad was really dead OH NO BROODHOLLOW HAS ME TOO
It set off warning bells in my head when I read it, but I had to go back into the archives to make sure as well.
In that case, may I recommend an excellent tailor?
Well now that sounds very wait a minute
mayor osgood, just like that ghost in the alley back in chapter one… holy crap!
what the heck is going on? mr. straub, you are pretty clever.
I was thinking about that too. Maybe the ghost had something to do with the Shovels and Skull society and this is some sort of secret sign. Mayor Osgood probably forgot its real meaning though.
I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THANK THE BROODHOLLOW GODS!
Weird, I've only known stories and folktales to refer to whip-poor-wills as bad omens, not good ones.
Oh dear. Only after reading your comment did it start to dawn on me that this might be an actual, meaningful word – I assumed it's some outlandish alien concept only found in Broodhollow (never even heard the word before). So, um, thanks? :)
Whippoorwills are birds and are named for the sound of their call.
It was believed that Whip-poor-wills were psychopomps – carriers/captors of dead souls. It was said that if someone died while the Whip-poor-wills were calling, they were trying to capture the soul and keep it from getting to the afterlife. Their cries would get louder and louder as the soul approached. If they suddenly went silent, it meant that they had successfully captured it and prevented it from reaching the afterlife.
Sounds kind of like banshees
There's just something about birds that sing at night that makes them inherently spooky to people. Having heard whip-poor-wills, loons, and various owls late at night I can certainly understand why.
The worst, by the way, is the barn owl, which is thought to be the inspiration behind the banshees that Stuart Ullman mentioned.
Someone's been reading his Lovecraft. If you haven't already, check out "The Dunwich Horror" for more along this line on Whip-poor-wills.
Today's strip is incredible, references/answers so much and gave me chills down my back.
I really love that Whipoorwills are mentioned. They feature heavily in one of my favourite Lovecraft's stories, The Dunwich Horror. :D
"HE COMES BACK IN A FEW DAYS" OH NOOOOOOOOO NO IRIS BABY NOT AGAIN
WADSWORTH: "How many is a few, Iris?"
IRIS: "…I'm sure he told me when he left, but I've forgotten. Why is it so hard to remember things in this town?"
WADSWORTH: "Oh, that reminds me… you won't believe what I saw in the mirror! You don't remember me having any significant injuries, do you?"
IRIS: "No… why, did you find a scar or something?"
WADSWORTH: "…I think so, but I forget."
seriously. my heart sank in my chest and i felt sick when he sent his regards to her father. Kris, how do you do it? this comic is amazing.
I was going to make the same comment. Like a gut punch.
I immediately cringed when I read that. We're losing him chaps. :-(
Did Iris just forget to put her shoes on before she walked out into the snow?
No, just like Zane (or anyone for that matter) I don't actually draw shoes on anyone.
Actually, maybe she did walk out without them. It won't change anything.
That's either the heaviest comment you've ever written or it genuinely doesn't matter.
I prefer to think Iris has awesome knee high ghost stomping boots.
I think this is honestly the first time I've seen you draw legs.
Are you starting to regret doing that 'foot' scene in the last strip now? :D
Just mentioning whippoorwills is enough to unnerve me, quite frankly, especially having seen them gathering and thinking it's a good omen, but then *BAM* drop the bomb. How has everyone already forgotten? horrified. Three pages into the second volume. Masterfully done.
AWESOME! Two comics in and I've already got chills! Great great great work!
Oh god when do the black gutters show up oh no oh no
That's fucked up.
The amnesia the town causes is fascinating. It seems to only erase trauma, while retaining bonds of friendship/family/community (otherwise the town would just dissipate). Yet the town is also bound together by its holidays, many of which it seems likely are rooted in horrible stories (e.g Maddy and Harker). People still remember and talk about old legends, while Zane has already forgotten his much more direct and recent interaction with them. Which means there's some sort of rubric by which stories become more valuable and salient to a community than facts (science). There might be a potent metaphor in there, but I don't think we know enough yet to formulate it.
This is particularly cool with regards to Dr Angstrom's practice – how will his patients make any progress in therapy if they forget their breakthroughs? Has Zane forgotten about his Pattern, too? More importantly, are Dr Angstroms notes just chock full of terrors related to him by residents that have been smoothed over by the town? Does he remember? Does he think he helped? So many questions!
Maybe Angstrom somehow makes everyone forget? 'Cause he's trying to 'help' people to get over traumatic experiences?
Someone might have suggested thie before, but… I don't remember.
That crossed my mind, but I do hope Angstrom is not a culprit – I much prefer the anti-modernist Lovecraftian trope of a self-assured academic fumbling in the sub-rational darkness.
We often observe Angstrom taking notes during his sessions with Zane and likely he takes such notes with all his patients. He also presumably reads back over his notes at some point during his treatment of his patients or else why would he take them? It's hard to imagine those notes would not include some mention of things which he and his patients have since forgotten.
This makes it likely that Angstrom would be aware of what is happening. How would he reconcile notes, written in his own hand, that talk about events he cannot remember? I think resolving that conflict would become of paramount importance to the doctor, as he seeks a rational explanation for everything. Then again, maybe it does and he just slowly forgets about trying to solve the mystery, until he reads over his notes again and the process restarts.
Or maybe he's just incompetent and his notepads are filled with doodles of robot cowboys.
No, he's simply had a 100% success rate in curing his patients of their delusions of "ghosts" and "monsters" and "family tragedies". He's much better than Freud!
That's what I'm thinking. Maybe it's like a Memento-type situation for him, where he's caught in a loop of studying and forgetting his notes. Although that would likely lead him to be a more perpetually distressed character than he is, so maybe that hasn't happened – yet?? *dun dun dunn*
when I leave a comment now it's been automatically upvoting myself and it is making me self-conscious. :(
Haha, I remember making a very similar post a while ago. It does it automatically for people with WordPress/whatever accounts, so don't feel bad!
Didn't Angstrom mention something when he was researching about Harker or Maddy? Something along the lines of "A community's response to a real tragedy was to bury it in legend"?
The question is why they had to bury it in legend? To avoid fear and trauma or there's an external force having a hand in it.
No, not again! Iris, open your sclera!
Crap…this is the latest one! It went by so fast. Really great story. At first I thought Iris' bare feet in the last comic meant that she was…with Wadsworth, but that was quickly dashed. Now I wonder if their relationship can ever really develop, or if they'll keep reverting back to first-day friendliness.
Maybe. It seems they only forget the bad stuff, so they might grow closer, even though Iris's dad will always be "back in a few days".
Remember that Iris wrote down notes about her father, because she didn't want to forget again. I'm guessing at some point, she or Wadsworth will read them.
Mayor Osgood: habitual nose-picker.
Oh Wadswroth, NOOOOOO!!!
Already creepy as fuck and it's only page 3. I'm going to need therapy.
The really scary thing is that her father might actually come back in a few days.
Actually, this is one of the scariest strips so far. I'm not well-versed with horror movies, so I don't know whether this particular plot twist has been used before. A typical plot device is the viewer already having seen foreboding and dark stuff happening while the protagonists are still blissfully unaware of it.
That's bad, in a standardized manner bad. This here, however, is pure horror.
Regarding Dr Angstrom, it seems to me like he's actually got the easiest mind for the town to work with. Obviously, all of these patients talking to him about seeing ghosts, or killer bats, or whatever, are delusional. He talks to them, helps them work through their problems, and over time, they are no longer worried about whatever their "problem" was.
If he ever starts to wonder about the ridiculously-high prevalence of certain mental disorders in town, then a little selective amnesia on that point takes care of it all, and when someone comes back in, he won't have treated them before…
Actually, not even the selective amnesia is needed. There are certain psychological disorders that happen only to people of a certain culture (for example, I remember reading about a shock some japanese go into when they visit Paris. The embassy even has a hotline for help.), he could think it is related to the city's culture and start a study.
If he does not want to see ghosts, he'll not, even if everyone else does.
Oh Wadsworth. You're terrible at remembering more than dates.
*makes a quiet meefing sound of sadness at Iris's father being mentioned* Oh no, not again. A few days.
How long can a few days last?
This strip inches around scary in such a good way with Iris and Wadsworth's cheery conversation that brushes over ominous concepts (more town holidays, presumably with monsters, "peoples' minds get restless when they're stuck inside all day", Iris' father oh no no no) and the blurred, dim vision of Mayor Osgood in the doorway, not making to enter, just standing there. Sheesh.
That last picture of Mayor Osgood freaks me out so so much
Frankly, I'm very much in awe of how well Kris gets an absolutely minimalistic background (like an open door and some fading white and snowflakes) to convey the visceral feeling of a typical, biting cold winter day outside, to the point where I turn around in my seat to crank up the heat. I suppose less is indeed more here, and hooking into our own memories – letting our own imagination fill in the missing details – does work better than any expicit image, however masterful it may be. But it's still amazing.
This comic is the most beautifully constructed and incisively executed example of true horror I have seen since reading Lovecraft's work. It combines humor and joviality, and yet somehow uses that light to further darken the shadows. Thank you for once again giving me chills.
I used to look forward to the weekend. Now I see it as the longest delay until more Broodhollow.
HER FATHER NOOOOOOO. nnoooooOOOOOOO.
Oh man, now I'm freaked out. Well played, sir. Well played.
Wait, he forgot about Iris' dad? So he forgot about everything else, and Kris can recycle more Zane x Iris jokes! Well played, Mr. Straub.
Do you wanna hang out
Second: Love the third panel. Scarf and suspenders.
Finally, a prediction: Is Mr. Creepy Mayor coming to speak of a secret meeting?!? I love those.
But her father's d… Oh no Wadsworth! Noooo!!!! >_<
This is the most horrifying page of all. It really makes me think there is no hope for them to ever get out of this terrible curse. And if they could, would they want to?
I don't know if it was intentional or not, but Iris doesn't seem to acknowledge the mayor at all…
"What can I do for you?"
That's not Osgood. http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2012/12/…
No, that is also Osgood
I thought that was Harker.
Do you guys want for real spoilers? For really real spoilers? About who the ghost(s) in the alley were?
…is this a trick question?
Nah, we just love to speculate.
Like, say, Mercy and Zane's Uncle?
No wait, now I recognize the stance now. That's Lefty, the Salesman. Who'd ever have thunk…
I would but somehow I think it might ruin the suspense.
Can I instead opt to say, can we eventually find out who they were, in-story, rather then explicit in-comment?
I don't know if there's an organic way to add it to the story without having a character say "it must have been so-and-so in the alley! As a ghost!!!" I'll think about it though.
Ooh, do we eventually get to find out who they were? That was driving me crazy at the end of Book 1.
About Angstrom's and Iris's notes: perhaps a ghost in the town steals such notes to make sure people can't remember?
Who else thinks that we'll eventually get a ghost of Iris' father, who says "Iris, I am your father?"
Iris' father needs a ghost. Kris couldn't not do it.
Bet you an internet dolar we've seen him already.
Man, when I read the whole "Greet your Father"- Thing, I cringed so hard.
I mean like realy, realy hard.
All like "God, no, why?"
Gosh, I can be such a scatterbrain sometimes. I'm not even sure what year it is. I'll just go check todays pa–
…What was I talking about again?
Hm. Mustn't have been important.
Osgood has no coat and only a boater hat on in the midst of an icy winter day. This is suspicious.
I don't know, he looks like he has some natural insulation.
Osgood has other clothes but never thinks to wear them.
I'm so excited… I'm so exciteeeed!… I'm so… SCARED!
I would give you more than one upvote for the Saved by the Bell reference if that were possible.
This comic is better than 95 percent of scary movies I have seen. Better than 85 percent of scary books I've read. Kris, you're a fucking MASTER of this genre. Most horror is so badly executed, but this is perfect creeping existential horror. I *adore* you for this precision excellence in writing, pacing, and coupling it with just flipping AMAZING art. Especially the use of color. You deserve ALL the awards.
You're right. He deserves the All Award.
They are actually burning the damn things for warmth.
Whippoorwill Day…the day when whippoorwills steal the souls of the dying, right, Mr. Lovecraft. By the way, how do we know Iris's dad is really dead? Maybe the nurse at the hospital got it all wrong? Or maybe he's……un-dead-dad.
This is what a wakingreat night mare looks like
I’m reading this three years and change down the line, so I came straight from Book One.
I mean, it was foreshadowed with him wondering where the scar came from, but NOOOooooooo…
The feeling of dread I have when starting book two, ugh. “Say hi to your father for me.”