Their comics zoom in, around, and throughout elaborate panel compositions, often assembling the individual visuals into a grand stained-glass window of heady sequential art. That artistry reaches a new apex in Gideon Falls, the pair’s moody horror epiphany. The ongoing series revolves around two seemingly disconnected characters—conflicted loner Norton and ex-alcoholic priest Father Fred—as they discover the Black Barn, a shifting building that incubates evil throughout time and space.
Sorrentino has channeled those sinister themes with a deft experimentation that can only be described as designed chaos. The debut issue offers a striking double-page spread of Norton ebbing into a fetal position as a tidal wave of Polaroids conveys his search for the splintered remains of the aforementioned barn. In the climax of the first story arc, Lemire and Sorrentino finally reveal the psychedelic terror within the Barn, and without giving any spoilers, the effect offers an MC Escher acid trip filtered through religious iconography and dizzying layouts. Throughout, colorist Dave Stewart enhances that sense of bewilderment with striking reds and nauseating greens, escorting the reader from the mundane to the malevolent with his palette.
But to reach the infernal majesty of the Black Barn, Sorrentino absorbs influences beyond his canvas and inks. The Italian artist curated the following Gideon Falls playlist—one track per released issue—to offer a new context and soundtrack to the winding series.
For more Image playlists, visit our Spotify page.
Gideon Falls Vol. 1: The Black Barn is available in comic and book stores now. Gideon Falls #8 releases in comic book stores on November 14, 2018.
I’ve always envied musicians for one reason, and it’s not because music can help set the mood for anything in a way that no other kind of art can. I envy musicians because, in three minutes, they can send incredibly strong messages and concepts that other art forms would take hours to fully express. Sometimes, just a single line in the lyrics can open a whole new world inside your mind. The following playlist has lines and concepts stamped in my mind; songs that helped me envision the world of Gideon Falls while I was working on each issue.
- Andrea Sorrentino
Issue 1: “Where Is My Mind,” Pixies
There’s no better song to start a playlist for Gideon Falls. Excluding Father Fred’s presence, the whole first issue is essentially about Norton obsessively screaming, “Where is my mind!?"
Issue 2: "No Church in the Wild," Kanye West, Jay-Z, The-Dream, Frank Ocean
"What’s a god to a non-believer? Who don't believe in anything?” This song is a reflection about organized religions, and I can’t think of any other soundtrack that would reflect Father Fred’s doubts about his beliefs and his life than these lyrics and the relentless percussion that accompanies them.
Issue 3: "Paint it Black," The Rolling Stones
"It’s not easy facin’ up when your whole world is black." This song is about obsession. It’s about an obsession caused by an impossibility to see the world any other way than a black, dark hole. At this point in the story, the characters are lost inside their own doubts and obsessions. This Rolling Stones piece fits like a glove.
Issue 4: “Saturnalia,” Marilyn Manson
The Saturnalia was a celebration in old Rome where the main idea was to reverse the social order. In an upside-down world, the slaves could behave like free people, and the festival ended in huge celebrations, chaos, and sacrifices. The line in this song "It seems like Saturnalia" is the perfect description of the world seen through the Black Barn as Angie experiences in this issue.
Issue 5: “Psycho Killer,” Talking Heads
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve read this issue, you know who the "Psycho Killer" is. The line "Qu'est-ce que c'est" just resounds in my ears like a warning—nothing will be easily comprehended for anyone, and the drug-induced sounds all add to an even crazier experience.
Issue 6: "Chop Suey!" System of a Down
This song has all the varied sound mixtures and craziness to be a great background for this issue. Lines like "Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup" and "Father into your hands, I commend my spirit" all marry incredibly well with the theme of this issue, but I think my favorite remains "I cry when angels deserve to die.” That line sounds like it could have been written for a specific moment in this issue.
Issue 7: "Karma Police," Radiohead
"This is what you get." This is a song about dealing with consequences, and with its moody guitars and depressed sounds, it’s the perfect song for an issue that opens with the sins of the past.