Comic Book Review: ‘Damnation: Ultimate Edition’ by Rees Finlay and Jonny Pearson

‘Damnation: Ultimate Edition’ is a semiautobiographical indie comic book written by Rees Finlay and illustrated by Jonny Pearson. The story is a reimagining of Finlay’s debut title ‘Damnation’ which shone a light upon its writer’s battles with mental health issues.

This remarkably honest and dark comic starts with the disillusioned narrator questioning everything in his life as the consequences of his actions begin to torment him. As he is slowly engulfed by guilt and pain, the narrator descends into a world depression. As the plot shifts into the frenzied landscape of the main character’s mind, the reader is treated to a tour of the author’s psyche and shown the multitude of horrors that lie within.

This sequence in the comic also best showcases Jonny Pearson’s vibrant artwork. The many scenes in which the narrator struggles against his demons are drawn with a slightly cartoon-like quality which gives the book a gothic charm. Pearson could have easily illustrated this comic in black and grey to accompany its sombre tone, but the subtle yellows and oranges sprinkled into the colour palette adds a new dimension.

‘Damnation: Ultimate Edition’, is a powerful read that deals with the widely taboo subject of mental illness with care and artistry. Like most independent comic books it may not be as polished as its mainstream counterparts but the passion within its pages is outstanding. Finlay and Pearson have created a unique addition to the realm of indie comics with fragments of its writer’s soul injected into each panel.

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