The Little Nightmares comic from Bandai and Titan Comics has returned with issue 2, offering fans another tale of woe from the children of the Maw. Like the first issue, the second follows another tale unfolding about the children’s lives outside of the Maw; this time round, it revolves around a small group of friends who come across a set of peculiar mirrors. In keeping with the dark, morbid tones of the original game, the second instalment of the comic series – whilst not being as strong as the first – supplies another dark bedtime story to help bring those creepy nightmares to the surface of your mind. Because this is a comic review, we can’t show you any of the content, but we’ve got lots of screenshots from the game for you!
The comic does a great job of keeping the tone of the game, with the stories that unfold
With a team of only eleven behind the creation of the comic, it is perhaps a little light even for the £2.65 price, but the 33-page story is propped up by a design from Aaron Alexovich and Dave Santana pays tribute to the game’s undertones well. A mixture of sharp, angular illustrations and the dark colour palette do well to recreate the design of the game whilst playing to their own strengths, and making the experience just different enough to justify the existence of the spin-off. The collection of sharp and angular figures are offset well in the second issue by the inclusion of something close to a free-form style of art, complete with swirling and elongated figures that dominate huge sections of the page. It is these designs, along with the sharp fractured frames of the strip, that help create the dreamlike quality of the story.
So, the plot is an interesting one, in-keeping with the uncanny fears we associate with childhood; the designs strike that balance between homage to the game whilst distancing itself through its interpretation of that style. Cool, so why aren’t I massively psyched about the issue? Well, a big part of the reason is that the writer and editor of the series, John Shackleford, has a pretty difficult task of giving a voice to the cast of Little Nightmares that we were used to watching as voiceless shadows.
And so, the difficult task, which was handled very well in the first issue, become apparent in the second issue. Dialogue is sparse in the latest issue and when it does appear, it’s rarely adds anything to what’s going on; instead characters blithely speak about wishes in a sentence or two with little need to. This lack of effective dialogue is perhaps the only thing that lets the second issue down, though the saving grace is that the narrative voice is very good throughout. I can’t help but think that if Shackleford had decided to stick with the narrator being the only speaker and kept the cast of characters silent but for gasps and other noises, the issue would have felt more coherent in places.
So whilst the issue may not be the strongest successor to the first, it still provides a bridge for both fans and newcomers of Little Nightmares, with fans getting further surrounding lore of the world, and newcomers who may not have seen much of the game before. The comics will give newcomers a snapshot of what’s in store in the main instalment, with the dark tales maintaining the sinister themes and atmosphere of the game.
The comic is definitely worth a shout for fans of the game, and if you enjoyed comics like The Sandman or Death: The High Cost of Living, the art style is pretty different, but the tone is very similar in places – and what’s more, it’ll hopefully get you to play an adorably creepy game afterwards. If you want to know a shop near you that sells comics, you can use this shop locator to see if you local Comicbook Guy has any copies of the Little Nightmares comic.