Stitched #1

    Stitched » Stitched #1 - Volume 1 released by Avatar Press on November 21, 2012.

    aerozol's Stitched #1 - Volume 1 review

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    • aerozol has written a total of 2 reviews. The last one was for Volume 1

    Gore for Idiots

    I'm a gore kind of guy in a few ways. In fact, the main reason I grabbed this is because a goregrind EP that I really enjoy ripped off an image (naughty) from Stitched for its cover illustration, and I thought I couldn't go wrong with it. But, unfortunately I was wrong.
    I read the series from start to finish, and none of it gripped me. Admittedly, I only really moved to sit down to write a review (of anything) if I loved or hated it, and my views are unashamedly my own, so it's probably unlikely that a 1/5 rating is on the dot for you, but it's a good reflection of my feelings. Feelings which can basically be boiled down to 'slightly offended'. I know 'offended' is generally considered the first symptom of some sort of immeasurable, unknowable and terrifying illness, to be stamped upon on sight, but perhaps I can explain!

    I like gore and horror. But I'm not stupid. Gore and horror have a unique power to elicit certain emotions of terror and levels of engagement from the reader (or viewer), and have a long history of hallowed gems and examples of this power being subtly and precisely cut into the inside of your psyche, or as a crude object inflicting blunt force trauma to your eyeballs. Before veering too far off topic, Stitched falls heavily into the second category. Blunt force trauma for blunt force trauma's sake is what a flip through these books advertises, and what undoubtedly moves it off the shelves. Unfortunately some 'precision' blade work is attempted as well, and that's where this shit starts getting insulting.
    I love looking at pictures of people getting ripped apart as much as the next well-adjusted guy and gal, but everybody knows that for that trauma to really stick, you need some kind of engagement with the material. This is most often and recognizably delivered via character development and a tight story, but can also be done with or in conjunction with pacing, a judicious art style, other stuff, or sometimes just sheer volume and force driving the content into your skull, and onto the wall behind you. Stitched provides this by carrying its wall of violence on the back of well-researched and insightful cultural material and a range of diverse, varied and well-developed characters that I really care about. Let's cut to the point - a shit story full of insulting cultural and gender stereotypes is a shit story full of insulting cultural and gender stereotypes no matter how many limbs are pulled off in the process (believe it or not). Even eventually moving your shallow and predictable plot to Asia, so you can replace your 'cutting edge' military jargon, 'hard hitting' middle eastern stereotypes and slutty big breasted ladies with 'totally awesome man' triad tattoos, 'whoa rad' samurai swords and slutty big breasted ladies isn't going to make me sit up and think "wow this series is really interesting and compelling because there's EVEN MORE STUFF that I thought were awesome and accurate when I was a teenager". It's just plainly heaping shit upon shit upon shit in an attempt to make the gore have some kind of foundation.
    But in the end it's just a foundation of shit. Step around it, and check out some of the great gore and horror out there that will truly impact into your precious psyche. Recommendations are out of the scope of this review, but googling 'ero guro' is a starting point that shows that Stitched is a clumsy attempt to walk among masters (and other cultures).

    ps Some of the pictures are good. And they make for an excellent goregrind cover.

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