Horror comes in many forms, from slasher gore and monsters to haunted houses and disturbing urban legends of ghosts roaming a dark road. Writer Sam Costello’s Split Lip horror anthology offers a taste of nearly every kind of story in the genre, but there is one tale that is most unsettling, mainly because we all can relate to the topic. In An Old Man, Looking, the writer draws from the very real fear of losing loved ones and what that inner turmoil can do to someone as they go through stages of grief.
With art by Diego Candia, the comic does an excellent job at tugging at normal human fears in a very real world setting. The protagonist loses his mother at a young age, and seeing her slowly dying and then having to deal with the funeral and everything afterward prove to be a lot for someone so young. That’s when the manifestation of the Old Man begins, and the image of the creepy, naked figure quietly hovering outside the window of his room is more than disturbing. Whenever something tragic occurs, he appears, and as much as we want him to go away, he gets closer and closer.
Costello does a great job of setting up a somber tone that only gets more unnerving as the story goes on. When you get to the ending, you feel on a visceral level the main character’s paranoia and helplessness in the situation. Candia’s black and white illustration only adds to the eerie vibe throughout the 14-page story, where atmosphere plays a huge part in making the reader feel uneasy about what seems to be a mundane setting.