Channel Evil: Jez Manson is on the road to success, his chat show ratings are going through the roof, he has a beautiful girlfriend and the world of entertainment at his feet. Unfortunately it’s all been built on the power of an ancient God intent on using Jez as a way to unleash chaos on humanity. – Goodreads
Note: This was a 4 issue series that has been collected into a single volume.
Channel Evil Review
The first issue of Channel Evil, Don’t Touch That Dial, just introduced us to the main characters, got him channeling, and hinted at what might come. Death and destruction was kept to a pretty small scale for what I thought would happen. Jez Manson is a completely unlikable character. I found myself pretty much hoping immediately that something horrible would happen to him.
The second issue, Chamber of Horrors, really started to step things up. (Well, you get that sense at least, even though very little actually happens.) I still didn’t like Jez. He proved himself a coward. He knew what was happening was wrong, and continued to go forth with it anyways. I definitely wanted to reach through the pages and slap some sense into him. Still, nothing stands out as remarkable, though.
The third issue, The Price of Fame, tried to tie Pagan and Christian religion together. It didn’t have the same sense of mounting urgency that the second issue had. While I’m still wasn’t a fan of Jez, it became obvious that Fast Mick was the dangerous one of the bunch. It’s amazing how through just a few illustrations and less than a full page of text, you can dislike a fellow so much you want to rip his bits off.
The fourth issue, Remote Control finally saw some positive action happening. About time! Of course, this is the issue in which the feces finally hit the fan, too. Things moved swiftly and a few of the panels were difficult to follow. Still, it’s enough to get the gist of what happens and… I was left unsatisfied. Channel Evil felt like it had potential to be awesome, but just couldn’t quite get there.
The art was interesting but not attractive. I like clean lines and simple colors in general, but apparently not when it comes to comics. The patchy artwork with bold lines and shades of gray didn’t really keep my attention. Also, it was hard to follow what was going on in some of the action sequences. I found it was very easy to zoom through Channel Evil. I had no desire to take my time with it and savor it like I have some of the other graphic novels I’ve read lately. Though I will say that the artist was very good at conveying the dream sequences and possession with surreal artwork. There was one or two panels in the third issue that I really liked.
There is an additional short story included, An Evening with Ba’al, which is drawn by D’israeli. (I have no clue who this is, but apparently s/he is “one name” famous.) I liked the art a bit better in the short story. There’s one panel where Ba’al rather resembles a naked cat that had me snickering. This one was amusing in the sort of ‘I wanna slap you’ way that you start feeling when someone with a $300,000.00 house and brand new car starts talking about how poor they are.
Channel Evil is definitely a teen+ read. Curse words are used very casually in this book. In fact, the sheer amount that Ba’al curses diminishes the scariness factor he had going on at first. F-bombs don’t exactly make people feel menacing. Overall, I can’t say I was a big fan of Channel Evil. It had potential, but nothing really stood out about it. And it’s the first graphic novel in a long time that gave me a headache from reading it. I’m not sure why. I’m not eager to pick up any more work from this artist or author, but would encourage you to check it out and see for yourself. It might be right up your alley.