The Portrait of Sal Pullman
The Portrait of Sal Pullman is a short comic by Lonnie S Nadler and Abby Howard. Within its pages it perfectly captures the essence of American Gothic horror. It seamlessly weaves the threads of Lovecraft's artistic stories, The Music of Erich Zahn and Pickman's Model into the richer cloth of Bierce and Poe's stories of psychological horror. The beauty of the Portrait of Sal Pullman is the blurring. Not of any of Howard's characteristically crisp lines and contrast, but of reality with art and of the supernatural explanation with the more simple and tragic.
Fans of the Gothic horror genre will find so much to delight them here but that is not the extent of the comic's range. There is a powerful exploration of self perception in the story, a brief glimpse into the primal fear of every artist that their work is revealing too much of their self. An examination of the way that even those that we consider closest too us can overlook our true nature. Anyone that has had a brush with mental illness will relate all too readily to the horror of this story.
If you have never read Gothic horror, even if you don't like horror as a genre, then consider this to be the perfect taster. It is brief. The fear is isolated from reality by a sufficient degree that it should not creep too readily into your everyday life. The artwork and story flow together in such a way that it is all to easy to follow through to the bitter end. Most importantly the story distils down the key elements of the works of the great American horror writers and forms them into a single cohesive story.
I cannot heap enough praise on the Portrait of Sal Pullman and in truth, I do not need to. It is currently available for free online at www.terror-town.com and it will take only a few minutes of your time to read. Go there, do that, come back and try to deny a single word that I have said about it.
Afterwards, perhaps hours or perhaps days, when you think again about the Portrait of Sal Pullman you may not thank me for sending you to read it. But rest assured, it has broadened your horizons.