Not everyone can do horror in comics well, but Sam Alden makes it seem effortless. In 2013, he released a web comic called The Man That Dances in the Meadow that was eerie with a consistently unsettling tone. A truly amazing horror comic. The Man That Dances in the Meadow is a short comic about a woman who begins to lose all grasp on reality after being haunted by the vision of a strange dancing man. From the moment she sees him, her world begins to slowly unravel. Alden’s expressive figures works perfectly in black and white. There’s an ever increasing look of unease in the lead character as she goes about her day after the first vision. She’s gradually feeling worse and increasingly obsessed with the man that dances.
The Man That Dances in the Meadow was available in print via Space Face Books a few years back. I have a copy and I would say it reads almost better through the crawl of an electronic device. There’s a sense of anticipation created by only seeing a handful of panel at a time that isn’t as pronounced when seeing two pages at a time. It’s a personal preference of course. The printed comic looks gorgeous all the same and am sadly disappointed there’s no more copies available, they made for nice gifts for fans of horror.
It’s one of my favourite comic and introduced me to the work of Alden, a cartoonist I’ve been following ever since. There’s plenty of other comics available for free on his website, but this one felt particularly strong. Four years after its release, it still haunts me.
The Man That Dances in the Meadow
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.