Hemlock Ave Review

For some, Hemlock Ave was just an old legend, a place on the town map that nobody could ever seem to find. But for those that did, their lives would never be the same…

Once you’ve arrived, you’ll meet your beautiful hostess, Alma, a 30-something nurse who guides wayward souls to their well-earned rewards. Sometimes assisted by her young, ghostly friend, Charlotte (Halloween Girl), she offers these same lost travelers either second chances – or the dark reckonings they so richly deserve. So, if you find you’ve lost your way in the night and a stunning, raven-haired ‘nurse’ extends a hand, well, hang on to your hopes…that it’s only a nightmare.’

Aside from the horror trappings, Richard Wilson admits he’s never written stories so ‘close to the bone’ before…

“During the pandemic, we collectively faced death every day, and I think that woke our souls up in some very dramatic ways. Hemlock Ave is very definitely my response to all that.”

Illustrators, Pietro Vaughan and Shahed R. summon the horror and pathos in these four, chilling tales, deftly pulling the reader in with their visual brilliance. “They are both so deeply gifted and so unique – I couldn’t have found a better team to tell these stories!”, Wilson enthuses. 


Hemlock Ave Graphic Novel Cover Image
Halloween Girl Author new series

Featuring various Easter eggs like Duff Beer, Hemlock Ave Book One continues the pop culture legacy that the Halloween Girl series initiated. Its characters would feel right at home in fighting vamps in Sunnydale, road-tripping with the Winchester brothers, or summoning darkness in Riverdale. Mixed parts banter and scares, the series starts off solidly and seems poised to keep at it.

Fans of the horror genre will appreciate the way tropes are toyed with, whether for a cat-and-mouse paradigm or to subvert them.

The character designs are brilliant, equal parts badass and sexy. Think Sucker Punch, where the wardrobe is akin to what women would choose to wear when going into battle, with more coverage and practicality, yet unafraid to claim their own sexuality as power. Cosplaying any of the guides would be most fun.

Expressions and details are well drawn by all artists, lending to the depth and humanity in each story. The subject matter varies as each story focuses on a different person— destined for above, below, or somewhere in between for now. Each tale may give you pause, reconsidering your own choices in your life, or a small dose of therapy as one relates to what the characters are experiencing and feeling.

Hemlock Ave itself is an intriguing place, part upside down, in-between, but absolutely more. Readers will enjoy working out exactly what it means for them on a personal level as Alma escorts them there through each of the stories in volume one, and the pending volumes to be released.

For those wanting character-driven, emotional storylines that are witty and sure to entertain, be sure to check out Hemlock Ave Book One. Where will Alma send you when it’s your time? Maybe a reader will find out in the next volume…

Hemlock Ave Book One: Hopes and Nightmares is now available, including autographed copies by the author, at Mad Shelley Comics.

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