by Josh Simmons
It would be simple enough for Josh Simmons to draw a series of gory images over twelve pages and call it a day. It's something he excels at, but Simmons (as always) adds additional layers to his work, and this is what distinguishes him from other horror artists. Simmons can be as disturbing and horrific as everyone else, more so in fact, but by including the seeds of something more lofty he is able to force his stories into the readers sub-conscious, leaving them to linger long after the final page has been turned.
The standout element of 'Flayed Corpse' is Simmons use of dialogue to tell two stories at once. Layering each words meaning around a single event, an autopsy, creating both a grotesque examination of a mutilated corpse and a commentary on philosophy, science and their relationship with humanity.
This third voice has a definitive tone to it, in both discussions (the political and spiritual) this voice is granted the final word on the matter. By setting this story in a scientific facility Simmons seems to be stacking the deck in favor of this third voice, but his answers are no less cruel than those produced by the other figures, if not more so, due to their calculated and sterile tone. His final statement, combining the two theists ideas of the after life and blending it with quantum physics "Neither of you are exactly right, or wrong...He died terrified, in agony. And it echoed out and was absorbed into a universe already sick with pain" creating a fate far worse than those posed by the Marxist or Capitalist coroners.
You can purchase 'Flayed Corpse', by Josh Simmons, at the Oily Comics website here.
* This post originally appeared on The Chemical Box