Dead Mall – Adam Cesare, David Stoll, Justin Birch (Dark Horse)

If you’ve ever seen Dawn Of The Dead or Stranger Things or any number of horror movies that are set in a shopping mall, then you’ll be aware of their natural predisposition as the perfect setting for a slaying. As the hustle and bustle of the daily grind with shoppers getting their fill of retail therapy, makes way for the eerie quietness, where the occasional one-off noise can cause a brief heart flutter or flicker of a light casts shadows that didn’t previously exist.

It’s within that classic setting that Adam Cesare has chosen to base his latest outing Dead Mall. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Pen Mills Galleria, the mall that time forgot, built in the Sixties as a shrine to lavish retail expenditure, twenty years later, it’s nothing more than a run down shell. Dead Mall has all the traditional elements of a Scooby Doo style mystery, as five kids break into the Galleria for some teen hi-jinks, only to find out that the mall has its own mysteries and an agenda all of it’s own and what started as a night of exploratory adventure, quickly turns into a fight to survive the night.

Writer Adam Cesare has a history of incorporating twenty first century themes and ever more sinister plots into classic horror backdrops, and his extensive background in full length and short stories serves him well here and David Stoll’s stark illustrations, bring Cesare’s creepiest creations to life in spine tingling fashion. Dead Mall is Cesare at his very best, when you read it, do so in daylight and preferably in company, because it is, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, incredibly scary stuff….Chris Andrews

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