The Cull Volume 1

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Book 1 of THE CULL
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Pub Date 23 Apr 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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Something is Killing the Children meets The Goonies! Eisner Award winning writer Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel, Jem and the Holograms) re-teams with superstar artist Mattia De Iulis for their first creator-owned work together.
The Cull is a dark tale about five friends setting off in the middle of the night to shoot a short film on a forbidden rock near their small coastal town the summer before they all go their separate ways. But they're not really there to shoot a film. One of them has lied. And that lie will change EVERYTHING.

Collects THE CULL #1-#5
Something is Killing the Children meets The Goonies! Eisner Award winning writer Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel, Jem and the Holograms) re-teams with superstar artist Mattia De Iulis for their first...

Advance Praise

Early praise for The Cull:

"A breathtaking work of beauty, tension, emotion, and mystery. This is the kind of story that stays with you for years to come." —Matthew Rosenberg, What's the Furthest Place from Here?

“The Cull builds a world of characters in small, intricate details that invite the reader to dive deeper, and then—in one quick motion, like magic—opens the whole puzzle box out to infinite size. Intriguing story, spectacular art, and most importantly giant crabs—I recommend getting in on the ground floor.” —Al Ewing, We Only Find Them When They're Dead, Immortal Hulk

"I thought I was in front of the TV, instead I was reading The Cull #1: the outstanding art by Mattia De Iulis let the reader have a full immersive experience, while the script by Kelly Thompson introduce you to a new and extraordinary journey. If you read it and you hear sounds from pages, don't worry, it's just the magic of this book." —Elena Casagrande, Black Widow, Catwoman

“Astonishing. Gritty and lyrical at the same time. I’m going to keep it simple. Quite possibly the best first issue you’ll read this year.” —Gail Simone, Clean Room, Batgirl

“Simultaneously new and familiar, modern and traditional—The Cull hits that tonal sweet spot that promises a hit series. And considering the talent on board, I’m not at all surprised. Add this one to the pull!” —Kelly Sue DeConnick, Bitch Planet, Wonder Woman Historia

“With The Cull, Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis have crafted an absolutely gripping tale. Thompson is the master of writing characters you instantly care about, and every character who sets out on this journey clearly has a personal story that I can't wait to see revealed. I have no idea what the hell is going on with the shocking revelations of Black Water Beach, but I can't wait to find out. Issue 2 now please!" —Tom Taylor, Neverlanders, Nightwing

“The Cull is Kelly, Mattia, and their entire team at the top of their game. It’s everything you could want out of the first issue of a comic—it gets its beautiful hooks in deep. I’m dying for the next chapter.” —Gerry Duggan, X-Men, Dark Room

“You won’t believe you’re reading a comic book as this live-action movie leaps to life on the page. If there’s one book out there right now to totally immerse yourself in, it’s The Cull.” —Chris Refferty, Lucifer, Cobra Kai

Early praise for The Cull:

"A breathtaking work of beauty, tension, emotion, and mystery. This is the kind of story that stays with you for years to come." —Matthew Rosenberg, What's the Furthest...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781534397873
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 66 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Image Comics for an eARC of The Cull Volume 1.

Five friends leave in the middle of the night to shoot a movie...and discover another world.

Each character is very distinct and has their own struggles. There are lots of heavy topics discussed throughout the storytelling, such as grief and loss, domestic violence and self harm. The artwork was absolutely stunning. It looked like something out of a movie or video game. It very much reminded me of a combination of Stranger Things, the Goonies, and T. Kingfisher's book The Hollow Places. My only issue is that I felt like the story was kind of rushed. I feel like it should have been a tad longer to develop a bit more.

I hope there are additional installments, because there was a massive cliffhanger. I would definitely be interested in reading more.

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Fascinating story about alternate worlds. The area that they find is both beautiful and thrilling to explore. And then they find the down side and it picks up quickly. Despite the ending seeming rushed, the rest of it was fun: the characters are fleshed out well and you get a glimpse into what their lives are like outside of this adventure. I was so drawn into the story and was disappointed that there really wasn’t an ending. I am hoping that there is more to this story. The illustrations are fantastic! The expressiveness of the characters and the beauty of the hidden world were so well done.

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Okay, this is my JAM. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will keep this brief. The illustrations are phenomenal, the story is compelling and darkly mysterious, and I.WANT.MORE.NOW.

4.25 stars.

I received an eARC in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and Image Comics!

Look for this in April!

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The comparison of The Goonies meets Something Is Killing The Children immediately got my attention and The Cull didn't disappoint when compared to those two. I'd also say fans of Super 8 & Monsters should check this out. The art style is really unique which I appreciated & when they were all in the liminal space, the use of colour was fantastic & the sense of scale in certain scenes really helped bring everything together.

I didn't expect where the story was headed whatsoever after they went into the liminal space and it just continued to improve per issue whilst really building up the tension. It was also a surprise how much character backstory could be weaved into just a few issues but this really helped flesh out the group and I'm glad for it.

Whilst the ending works fine as is.... I wouldn't say no to more!

Thanks to Netgalley & Image Comics for the arc.

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I really enjoyed this introduction to the series! The characters seem interesting, I would love to know more about the little boy, and the art style is incredibly beautiful!

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I loved this and couldn’t put it down! Loved all the characters and their relationship. Everyone brought something different to the table. I liked the tension and build up of the story. I want to read more!

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I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and Image Comics, so a big thank you to them.

I want to start off saying the artwork for this is out of this world. It is so good it literally looks like a video game like I can’t even. The colours are magnificent. This story was so cool too. I really enjoyed the hidden passage to a new world. I’m very interested what will happen next and how many different worlds/ time frames that there will be. Each issue blended so flawlessly into the next it read like one big story. I will for sure be continuing on with this series.
I would recommend to those who like the weird and wondrous.

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This is an enjoyable graphic novel with good artwork that really grabs your attention and doesn't let go. This small group of young people go off on their own and while they're gone, chaos ensues. It started with a lie -- they weren't really there to make a film. The otherworldly creatures were my favorite part, and the story ended on a cliffhanger. Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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This was the first five volumes in The Cull graphic novel series and I really liked it. It kept my interest and I really want to read more.

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This is a 3.5 star review rounded up to 4.

The Cull is a new entry in the Stranger Things/Paper Girls genre. A group of friends go to a mysterious rock to film a movie and maybe do something else and instead find a place that exists between universes. Then things happen.

The characters in this are very well crafted. They work as individuals and as a group of friends. They have their own motivations and issues. I liked all of them.

The art is great. It's hyper-realistic, but the artist knows how to make the art breathe and move as part of the story. A lot of times hyper-realistic art like this just hangs on the page and doesn't integrate. That is not the case here.

The story is good, but this is obviously the first volume of a longer series. A lot of things are set up and not much is explained or resolved by the end of the book. And there's a twist at the end- and it's not that surprising a twist.

This was a good read and I will pick up future volumes to see how the story plays out.

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Cleo's brother goes missing in a cave system, and she gathers her friends to investigate and shoot a short film to help her out. But the group is unknowingly led into a dangerous journey and have to band together to save themselves and their loved ones. I am a fan of Kelly Thompson's works (and I highly recommend Black Cloak for people wanting a fantasy noir comic) and The Cull did not disappoint. Mattia De Iulis art is amazing, with such realistic details it makes the more fantastical elements feel incredibly grounded. The five issue arc creates five distinct characters with their own damage and desires and Thompson makes it easy to distinguish the characters before the group faces even larger issues. The development of the group over the course of the story is fun to watch and it all leads to a very satisfying climax, beautifully drawn by De Iulis. A great new work in the genre of "teens take on a big sci-fi mystery" that I hope gets to continue.

Thank you to NetGalley and Image Comics for a copy of The Cull in exchange for an honest review.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Image Comics for an advanced copy of this graphic novel dealing with friends, growing up and the weird worlds that surround us all, and what might be hiding there.

Growing up is hard to do. One gets used to having fun with the people we have chosen, and more importantly have chosen us to be friends with. The real world always beckons with its need for money, shelter, food, and responsibilities. Growing up means maybe losing friends. All those things that get in the way, of those friends we now so well finding others who fill holes in their lives they never thought they would have. And like that they are gone from our lives. So the idea of one big thing, one last hurrah is a common one, something to hang on to as the world gets different. Weirder. Darker. The Cull Volume One by Eisner Award Winning writer Kelly Thompson and upcoming artist Mattia de Iulis is a story about friends, growing up, lies and what might exist just outside of what we experience everyday.

The time is 4 in the morning and five friends have gathered together to record one last short film together before they have to go their separate ways and deal with the real world. Individually these five have dealt with some stuff, requited and unrequited love, abuse, and a missing sibling. This is there last chance to have fun with each other, something that might not happen again. Leaving early to film at landmark rock in a popular beach area, the friends cross at low tide, knowing they will have thirteen hours before they have to return. Once at the rock things start to go wrong. There are strange cave lights, and even stranger things inside the cave, a landscape that should not exist. Worse of all one of them lying to the others about what is going on.

A creepy story about friendship, growing up, being failed by adults and a lot of good ole scares. Thompson has written a really good tale and and created five really distinct characters with their own lives, motivations and secrets. They all have a distinct voice, and more importantly act like people their age, trying to be adults, but in reality they are kids in a large series of bad circumstances. The art by Mattia de Iulis is really amazing. Photo-realistic characters among dreamy landscapes and bizarre creatures. The colors pop, the characters are all clear and distinct, and the art and story really meld magically creating a wonderful piece of sequential art.

Recommended for people who like Paper Girls, Something is Killing the Children, who really good scary stories about people in bad situations, with beautiful art.

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A visual feast from the get go, with stunning visual story telling supporting the text throughout.

We follow a group of five friends who go out for one last night of film making before separating for the start of their adult lives. But one has ulterior motives and these take the group through a portal into a fantastical world to find her lost brother.

They find themselves in a hub between universes where something has to be exchanged for their visit, where form is malleable, where good is accepted but pain isn’t, in this hub there is a transformation but not acceptance.

Absolutely loved the palette, both colours and mood that the author and illustrator were able to achieve.

There were some jumps of narrative that seemed a little rushed but other than that this was a great story.

There are twists aplenty, tension, betrayal, love, and the final few panels leave so much wide open and I’m so looking forward to the next installments.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Fantasy story comic. I loved the realistic artwork. Imaginative, vibrant and colourful, matching perfectly with the strong story line. The characters are fully developed as real individuals both in their speech and facial expressions. There is a cliff hanger but I didn’t feel short changed having read Vol 1, bring on Vol 2! Thank you to Image Comics and NetGalley for the comic ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given.

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Thank you Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this story.

This was a very fun story. I've always liked things like liminal spaces and unexplainable worlds. The creatures that they encountered were really interesting, especially since the world was a Hive mind. I liked their friendship as well and how the characters were all very supportive of each other. I especially like that Cleo wasn't pissed when everyone else received "superpowers" and she didn't. In the end she did too so I guess that's what matters. I wasn't really surprised by how the story ended. I think I almost expected it but it was still stressful to watch it play out, especially since their parents were acting so odd towards them. I'm interested to see where the story will go in the future.

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An invigorating new graphic novel that really lives up to the hype. The art style is wonderful and the plot is extremely engaging. Totally unexpected. Will be waiting to read the next volume as soon as possible.

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Oh wow what a story! I really enjoyed the characters and the art style as well. The Cull is a dark tale about five friends setting off in the middle of the night to shoot a short film on a forbidden rock near their small coastal town the summer before they all go their separate ways. But they're not really there to shoot a film. One of them has lied. And that lie will change EVERYTHING.
I really enjoyed reading through these five issues that make up this volume. It also ended with such a wild twist! I really hope there is more in the series. Definitely a 5 star rating in my opinion.

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It starts off wild and continues through each page. Each of the characters and the world as a whole were cohesive and fleshed out. We learn about issues that the characters deal with within their home, and as they enter the cave, the scenes become fever dream-like, with magical and alien elements. I was blown away by the art style and loved it thoroughly.

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An interesting, fast-moving, stunning-looking comic about a friend group who meet up to make a short film–well, sort of. The beginning feels a bit rushed but I think it's because you can't take the eyes off of the art. Sorting out names is easy; personalities take a little bit longer, and then we're off. Though this feels like a combination of stories I've read before, it's gorgeous and has a lot going on with it and for it.

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‘The Cull’ follows five friends who set out to shoot a short film and stumble upon something unexpected – something that will forever change their lives.

I won’t reveal much more than that, as I highly recommend going into this graphic novel with minimal information. The reveals are much more enjoyable when you have no idea what's coming. I surely was not expecting THAT.

The art style and colour palette perfectly complement the playful yet suspenseful storyline and overall tone.

I sincerely hope there is more to come, as I would love to discover what happens next and spend more time with this gorgeous group of friends.

Thanks to NetGalley and Image Comics for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own.

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Wow! All the WOWs go to the art of this book! It is so, so nice! The art has a distinct voice of its own, the art tells the story perfectly, and the art also sets the mood beautifully.
Everything is perfect about the art in this book.
The story is great also, but in this book, it really feels like the text is just complementing the art (while in most cases of graphic novels the opposite is true).
This is the most perfect read for any teen (older and more mature tweens maybe also?) and YA reader.

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Beautiful art work, engaging story, this was very entertaining. I loved the art, and the scripts were very good. Will definitely recommend to teens looking for more adult themed graphic novels.

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I really enjoyed this fantasy/sci-fi comic! The absolute stand out of this is the art. The artist does this incredible job of making hyper-realistic yet fantastical settings and creatures. I want to just skim through to look at the art again because it’s just fantastic.

I enjoyed the concept of the story and the overall premise is really cool. However, I wasn’t 100% invested and in love with the characters because there’s not much time to get to know them before their thrust into the new world.

I still highly recommend this little comic series. They’re fighting creatures that are way bigger themselves and dealing with something so mind boggling and they do it by being there for each other. The feeling that I got while reading this the most was how cool it is. It carries the sense of wonderment and “what is going on here?” kind of feeling very well.

If you like sci-fi that’s about huge monsters and whole new worlds you’ll love this! All in all I really enjoyed my time with The Cull.

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This one ends with a huge cliffhanger. Thank to NetGalley and Image comics for letting me reading an eARC of The Cull. If you enjoyed Y the Last Man and books like Saga, this is a great pick. It is very New Adult and will probably survive best in a public library versus a school library. I can't wait to read more.

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This was... creepy and also a fascinating take on dystopia and superheroes! The artwork is incredible and I'm interested to see how this will translate into an ongoing series. Perhaps it's just a me problem, but I felt the pacing was extremely fast - but I think that might be me needing to get used to this type of graphic novel.

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The Cull bills itself as Something is Killing the Children meets "The Goonies," which sounds right up my alley. Its summary reads like a Karen McManus young adult mystery-horror, which hooked me. Five teen friends leave their homes in the middle of the night to shoot a film at the beach, but one of them is lying to the others.

The first two issues of The Cull were easily the best of this volume. Kelly Thompson had an incredible idea for this series, and the premise worked so well for me. Young adults in a beach town? Heck, yes. One of the teens has a hidden motive? That sounds fun. Multiverses and alternate worlds? I wasn't expecting that, but I'm certainly not mad at it.

I'm a bit torn by The Cull. Mattia De Iulis's art is incredible, and there's a killer twist at the end of the volume, so The Cull had a lot going right. I also really loved most of the teen characters. While I enjoyed parts of this story, the main narrative wasn't fleshed out enough. The third and fourth issues should have been expanded into one or two more issues, which would have added more depth to the story. The monsters and alternate worlds were interesting, but I wanted more of them both. If more issues are released in this series, I will 10000% continue with the story, though.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to Image Comics for providing me with an advanced review copy! All the above thoughts are my own.

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This was so interesting I LOVED IT. The beginning was a little clunky as they set the stage and caught the reader up to speed with the relationships between the characters but the rest blew me away. Reminds me of James Tynion IV's types of stories, definitely something to check out if you like his books. Also is this a metaphor for AI? Not sure... but loved it.

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I picked up Issue 1 of The Cull from my comic book shop and was immediately pulled in. The art style is beautiful and realistic and the cover gallery is amazing. Issue 1 gives just enough detail for you to be intrigued but not confused, and ready to dive into Issues 2 and beyond. The gang gives Stranger Things/Super 8 vibes but a bit older and more mature. The gang is heartfelt and humorous and I can't wait to read more of their story.

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I loved this story so much! It gave me a lot of Goonies and Stranger Things vibes. The twist at the end really got me, I love that it had a twist rather than a ‘happily ever after’ it just fit the story so perfectly. And honestly I cannot get over the images and colours in this, they were stunning! Maybe I am biased because pink is my favourite and the alternative world being pink was amazing! Definitely a 5 star read for me, 100% would recommend!

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Thanks NetGalley, I loved the storyline but wasn't a huge fan of the graphics. It reminded me of video games. Will that keep me from reading the next one, absolutely not. I am guessing that part of the issue is that I read it on my phone instead of my Kindle. I couldn't get it to download properly to my Kindle. I will definitely be reading it again when I purchase a physical copy. Plus, I couldn't stop reading if I wanted to! The ending left me needing more. I am extremely excited to see where the story goes.

The Cull is a dark tale about five friends setting off in the middle of the night to shoot a short film on a forbidden rock near their small coastal town the summer before they all go their separate ways. But they're not really there to shoot a film. One of them has lied. And that lie will change EVERYTHING.

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A group of five friends sneak out in the early hours to film a special project but not everything is as it seems. The Cull Volume 1 collects issues #1 to #5.

The story is a mixture of science-fiction and horror, I think fans of "Stranger Things" and "Life is Strange" will enjoy this.

The artwork in this graphic is superb, it uses a hyper realistic artwork style and there is lots of details in the world and espeically the emotions in the faces of the characters.

My only ciritism of the collection is that the story is a little bit rushed as whole story takes across 5 issues and the story on a cliff hanger.

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Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis's The Cull is a marvelously well told story. It feels familiar without treading over the same ground as Stranger Things, The Goonies, and Paper Girls. I hadn't planned on reading it all in one sitting, but after the first part, I dared not set it down. Beautiful, emotional and unexpected, I really hope we get to see the characters again.

Special thanks to Image Comics and Netgalley for the digital ARC. This was given to me for an honest review.

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This was terrific. It's about a group of friends who go out in the middle of the night to "make a film". I reality, they've found a portal and think that the little brother that is missing may have went through it as well. Mattia de Iulis does a fantastic job of making this alien world look alien. It very much has a Stranger Things vibe to it crossed with The Mist. I really hope we get more of this story.

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Intense. This story deals with mature themes and topics, but wraps everything up within this world of magic. While I’m not a big fan of the art style, I did enjoy the story and the cliffhanger.

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I didn't know what to expect from the one but it's a portal fantasy graphic novel with magic, danger, and adventure that also navigates topics like grief, depression, and violence. I loved the artwork and colors, everything was so detailed and just beautiful. There are 5 main characters who are all given pretty much equal page time and consideration; each is developed pretty well and given their own motivations and backstories. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll be vague but you'll know what I'm talking about if you read it. There's a scene towards the end where one of the characters embraces what's perceived to be as weakness and turns it into strength -- it was a powerful scene and made me very happy that it was included. Also, not sure if anyone else will agree but there was a moment where I got a very "Power Rangers" feel from this one and since I grew up watching them, it was fun to be like ooh this reminds me of one of my favorite shows as a kid. It was cute and fun but with lots of drama and deeper emotion. It's definitely a story worth trying out and it's such a quick read. I was surprised by the ending and look forward to the next volume!

Thank you Image Comics for the eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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It is Volume 1, though an excellent story so far! What first stood out throughout was the quality and detail of the artwork and design. The story and charcters developed well, and became increasingly engaging as it moved into the latter half of this volume. Look forward to more.

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The worst thing about volume 1 is knowing I have to wait to read volume 2!!

The Cull is a cross between War of the Worlds, Stranger Things and X-men. It is really freaking cool.

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Obsessed. I need more of this immediately.

One of the things I love most about Image is that they give a lot of opportunities for character work in their indie titles, unafraid of writers being wordy or trying new things. Typically art and writing in a comic compliment each other, because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the script for a comic doesn't necessarily need paragraphs of narration or dialogue but I think The Cull benefits from its characters wordiness since the art panels need to do the heavy lifting of setting for a sci-fi/fantasy/horror comic. The art is telling a lot of story all on its own.

Kelly Thompson's The Cull is one part cosmic horror, one part superhero origin story, with a hell of a twist in issue 5 that you start to suspect but don't want to be true. Each character feels like a real, unique, fleshed out person. We're drip fed bits and pieces, though we'd don't get enough time with everyone since this is just the first five issues, but we get enough to know them and want to know more.

Mattia de Iulis's art is STUNNING. Like, these books are so gorgeous. The art waivers between photorealism and surreal almost-photorealism, which is perfect for a story about liminal spaces. It makes everything feel very dreamlike but with a veil of uncanny valley vibes. I also highly recommend checking out all the various covers for each issues because WOW. Like I want some of these framed.

But the end of the volume I was dying for more. I need to continue following these kids' adventures. I need to know they're OK. I need to know more about the liminal space. It's all so beautiful and fascinating and I cannot wait to see where Thompson takes it all.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Image Comics for an eARC of The Cull Volume 1!!

What an absolutely stunning graphic novel! I truly enjoyed reading this one, while there was a lot to unpack I really enjoyed where the story was going. There was quite a bit of world building in this volume (which I actually liked), that seemed to really be setting up this graphic novel for success. The illustrations though, were something to behold. Illustrations can often make or break a graphic novel, these illustrations definitely made the the graphic novel!


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Thank you to Image Comics and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ARC in an exchange for an honest review. TW: self harm, abuse, death, and, violence, The art on this was mind blowing! It is one of the most hyper-realistic art styles I’ve seen in a graphic novel to date. I think this would be perfect for fans of Stranger Things. Overall, a strong and interesting start to a new series. Very excited to see the next volumes come out and to learn more about this world.

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