A Fifth of Molting

I love this time of year. The weather dips into a cooler presence. The leaves change from green to orange. Jack-O-Lanterns are lit. Furthermore, let me get a little more specific. I love this time, when the newest issue of Terrance Zdunich’s The Molting is released, his independently produced comic mini-series. Time to sit back and take a fifth of The Molting, in issue #5 (of 12) “Mother’s Day.”

Despite Zdunich’s friendship to Darren Bousman (who, by the way, has just launched his own comic series in Abatoir; here), the title of this issue – “Mother’s Day” – might seem curiously convenient since Bousman finished a film called Mother’s Day (here), but have you forgot about what The Molting is? For the first two issues (here), I called the start to The Molting a “violent, unique, and wholly independent comic. Zdunich has crafted a great new horror comic series, recommended for more than just his Repo! fans, but for horror comic fans looking for something a bit more original, and quirky, to go along with the macabre.” Issue 3 (here), “it is a sometimes hard to find, wholly original work.” I furthered the praise in the last article for issue #4 (here): “[It’s] the real deal in independent comics. It’s raw, riveting, and raving mad.”

214 words in, and it’s a slew of praise from me, yet why not? The Molting is just great. Team Molting (Zdunich, letterer Oceano Ransford, cover colorist Brian Johnson, and the series’ new colorist, Molly Rodman) seems to benefit from the key thing that makes the comic so successful: mood. In issue #5 “Mother’s Day” we see Susie finally crack a little bit, letting us into her warped mental state. Her past has effected the Pryzkinds, and The Molting really is about her. This Halloween-themed issue capitalizes off the growing tension in the Pryzkind Family, with the keen writing of Zdunich, this issue is thematically the best yet.

The sequence with Joseph and Trevor’s girlfriend is a great indicator of why I’m so high on The Molting. Joseph questions internally why his family isn’t normal and this is juxtaposition against a Taco Bell eating, fat family. What’s normal? What’s abnormal? The family psychology of The Molting is haunting. I don’t know where this series is going or how it will conclude. We got six issue left for that, but until then, the slow burning aspect of the series’ themes comforts the readers long after they close the book. Scree…scree…screee….

The Molting as a whole, just might be the mirror to our sagging moral decay in America, and as along as Terrance Zdunich keeps his roaches to the ground, it’s a mirror worth looking into. But find out for yourself and order them at the official site here. The independently made comic is worth the few bucks if you’re in the mood for something different. I mean, Spider-Man has taken enough of your dollars, so give it to something that’s worth a damn. Until issue #6 “Allied Forces” comes, enjoy the Pryzkind Family. Scree…screee…screeeeee…..

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Jon Peters

I love film. That is all.

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