Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
Tales from the Black Hiway is a web-comic written and drawn by Rick Forgus. Along with Colleen Forgus, the two own Atomic Wolf Studio which specializes in design and illustration. This web-series can be found at the website www.blackhiway.com. The site states that it is updated every Wednesday. The site includes brief bios for the protagonist Ray Lantry, Cassandra, Rupert Pitch & Mr. Black, and the Atomic Man.
Taking place in 1955, this tale stars Ray as a writer working on a beat novel inspired by the works of Jack Kerouac. While making his way through Texas, he stops in a graveyard to rest and meets Cassandra. This character is the angel of death and a unique take on the being at that. As described in her bio, she is a ďchevy driving, knee boot wearing version of the grim reaper.Ē
From the encounter with her, his life heads down a new path upon which he meets several other characters, all of whom are a part of Pitch & Blackís Carnival. All of the key players have been introduced but itís too early to tell how they all connect. It will be interesting to see how Ray fits in with the carnival troupe.
Since Forgus has worked in design for some time, it came as no surprise that he experimented visually with the layouts in Black Hiway. The layouts are far from basic. Some panels on the page often connect with other parts of the page. If anyone has seen J.H. Williams work on DC Comicsí newest Batwoman series, you will understand what I mean. There are many books that use a similar style. Thatís not to say any layout is right or wrong, or that it is rare, but since it is such a nice visual tactic, it is usually worth pointing out.
The layout of the site is quite simple and navigating the actual comic couldnít be easier. You will find pages for the store and a blog. A link to the studio owned by the Forgusí can be found on the site as well.
Working against the series is that there is no way of knowing when pages have been added. There is a message on the site that reads how it will be update every Wednesday, but if it isnít, you simply have to keep checking weekly to find out.
Currently there are 23 pages of Black Hiway. You can almost liken this to a single issue of a print comic except that each page is technically smaller. So it is a brief read. Itís easy to check out the site and read the story. I donít read too many supernatural stories, but I will keep reading to see how Lantryís new life unfolds. Iíd suggest going over and reading up. If you like it, then favorite it and check back for updates. If it doesnít grab you, you didnít sacrifice anything in trying it out. Happy reading.
This is a free web-series comic.