The heaping pile of brain-dead horror stories out there is a mile high but when a comic book like Image Comic’s Infidel comes out, you stop what you’re doing, slow down time and savor each turn of the page. What appears to be a simple ghost story opens up to a greater conversation that we're having today about race relations and gender and how we're messily fumbling our way through it. The layered ways that the comic convey these themes is what makes it special.
Infidel is a five-issue horror story about Aisha, a hip, contemporary American Muslim woman learning to live under some adverse conditions. She is married to a white Catholic man and is the stepmother to his daughter Kris. They all move in with Aisha's mother-in-law, who did not approve of the marriage initially but both parties are tip-toeing around the tulips to make it work.
Prior to this, something terrible happened in the apartment building where they're living and Aisha doesn't know if she's overstressed with the climate of her surroundings and manifested anxieties of her own... or if she's living in a building haunted by terrifying things.
Infidel is the brainchild of writer and former Vertigo Comics editor Pornsak Pichetshote, artist Aaron Campbell, master colorist Jose Villarrubia moonlighting as the series editor and Jeff Powell as the designer and letterer. The four men have put forth a collaboration that not only frightens with expressive visuals but feeds on the mind as well. It will raise questions about the uncomfortable experiences you've had regarding race, because we've all been there or watch it unfold before our eyes. Infidel garnered so much attention that it got a TriStar movie deal after just two issues were released.
SYFY WIRE spoke with Pichetshote and Campbell about crafting the ground-breaking horror comic and coming up with scares on a page as opposed to the screen. We also discuss how the series toes the line about race relations in this country and how a movie deal doesn't have to change the course of a comic.
All five issues have been released in print and digitally, but a trade paperback will be released on September 26, and today (August 15) is the last day you can pre-order it through your local comic shop. Be sure to watch the interview and seek out this book!