A solid start to this comic adaptation of the defining novel of modern paranormal research.

Review: HUNT FOR THE SKINWALKER #1 – Homebuyer’s Remorse

From writer Zac Thompson (Ka-Zar; The Dregs) and artist Valeria Burzo (Castle Full of Blackbirds) comes the tense adaptation of Dr. Colm Kelleher and George Knapp’s legendary paranormal research novel in Hunt for the Skinwalker #1. Featuring color art from Jason Wordie and lettering by Joe Sabino, this opening issue places the terrifying and unusual occurrences on the infamous Skinwalker Ranch from the perspective of a desperate family just trying to get by. With a creative adapted script and atmospheric visuals, this is a must for fans of horror and the paranormal.

“Unidentified flying objects. Animal mutilation. Terrifying otherworldly cryptids. Countless strange phenomena. For more than 50 years, a remote ranch in the Uinta Basin has been the most significant nexus for the paranormal. Inspired by one family’s confrontation with the unexplainable and terrifying… and what happened when they invited the largest scientific investigation of the paranormal to their ranch.”

Writing & Plot

Zac Thompson dives headlong into the strange and terrifying accounts of a family fending off all manner of paranormal activity in Hunt for the Skinwalker #1. Thompson’s writing consists of both character dialogue and overhead narration in the form of journal entry-type blurbs that provide additional context. Remember, this is an adaptation of a novel that investigated these very events and attempted to make some discoveries about just what the hell goes on at Skinwalker Ranch. Hunt is very similar to James Tynion and Michael Avon Oeming’s Blue Book: 1961, an adaptation of the famous “Hill Incident” alien encounters (and a comic I just recently reviewed). Tynion refers to this genre as “True Weird,” or stories based on unexplainable firsthand encounters. Thompson follows in this style by placing the story’s focus on the trials the Sherman family experiences as they simply try to get by. His use of the novel’s blurbs help maintain the nonfiction touch this adaptation is meant to have, but it still has the heart of human experience at the center thanks to the character work. Thompson maintains the litany of chaotic strangeness through suspenseful encounters from the Shermans’ perspective, as well as anecdotal flashbacks explaining what some of these cursed phenomena could be. Overall, Thompson does a stellar job of creating a narrative within what could almost be described as a paranormal autobiography.

Art Direction

Valeria Burzo is on hand to deliver a distinct, almost pulp-like visual experience to Hunt for the Skinwalker #1. Her visual style has a classic comic-strip feel to it, but with a more modern directional approach. Burzo’s thick pencils and heavy shadows make a comic that has a timeless essence to it – like it was pulled right out of a Tales from the Crypt or Eerie Magazine issue. She does a brilliant job of rendering the Sherman family as this normal group of people living on a farm – then juxtaposing that aesthetic with the horrors and oddities that come to visit. Her visual representations of the Skinwalker and various alien visitors are wildly unique. Their designs, coupled with how “quaint” the rest of the characters and environment feel, makes the strange encounters feel all the more outlandish. Jason Wordie’s color art goes a long way in perfecting this comic’s aesthetic. He uses a very Silver and Bronze Age color style to bring on a timeless aesthetic that makes the issue feel like a classic pulp comic at points. The dusty, sun-blazed desert range turns into the eerie star-filled night right before the panels explode with a litany of rainbow technicolor as UFO’s explode through the atmosphere. Joe Sabino’s lettering is easy to read but changes in font size and bolds to stress a sense of fear in the characters. He also uses a typewriter style font for the narration blocks from the novel that drive home the feeling of this comic being an accounting of “real” events. Overall, the visual experience crafted for Skinwalker goes a long way in making this comic feel like a frightening firsthand account and a strange folk tale all wrapped in one package.


Hunt for the Skinwalker #1 is a stellar start to this new addition to the “True Weird” genre. Zac Thompson pens a script that adapts Kelleher and Knapp’s novel while still creating a character-focused narrative that lets readers share in the Sherman family’s horror. The visuals from Valeria Burzo and Jason Wordie create an eerie pulp-horror sensibility, but are still full of modern sequential direction that carries both the people-focused moments and the weird scenes a long way. Be sure to grab this debut issue when it hits shelves on September 6th!

Justin Munday
Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.
A solid start to this comic adaptation of the defining novel of modern paranormal research. Review: HUNT FOR THE SKINWALKER #1 - Homebuyer's Remorse