Whether itâ€™s an illustrator, a musician, or a writer, all artists have a muse as their source of inspiration. However, for Henry Henry, his creativity will come from somewhere else. Ryan Oâ€™ Sullivanâ€™s Fearscape follows Henry as he goes into the Fearscape, a realm of dark magic where human fears exist as living entities and where he will fight humanity’s greatest fear for mankindâ€™s survival.
With a title as â€œFearscapeâ€ one can think that its plot would be dark and grim, however, it’s a story that is somewhat humorous and captivates its audience with its witty, over-the-top writing and its semi-sympathetic yet egotistical character.
Henry is a down on his luck writer that canâ€™t get the respect he thinks he deserves. Herman and Humbert rejected his translated transcript of a classic text, as they wanted an accurate translation of the work, not his â€œimprovedâ€ version. Distraught, he decides to steal Arthur Proctorâ€™s manuscript, his mentorâ€™s latest work.
With the manuscript at his hands, heâ€™s interrupted before he can look at it, by a physical manifestation of a muse. The Muse confuses Henry for Proctor and takes him to the Fearscape. He doesnâ€™t correct The Muse and goes along with it, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.
Henry is an unsuccessful writer and is bitter and cynical about it, as he believes that he is superior to other published authors. His monologues and dialogue reflect his indifferent mood; however, the story is rather enjoyable and entertaining due to how piteous and pompous he can be.
For example, when he was in Proctorâ€™s apartment, heâ€™s almost caught by his daughter, Jill and when he is rightfully accused of stealing, we get this gem of his flowery rebuttal: â€œHow dare she suspect me of burglary! I only placed the manuscript in my jacket to avoid confrontation.â€ Also, when we learn of Jillâ€™s occupation as a â€œprofessional artist,â€ he considers it to be an â€œoxymoronâ€ and thereâ€™s a lot more where that came from. Granted, the story presents a somber outlook on the labors of a struggling writer. Itâ€™s just that Henryâ€™s usage of sesquipedalian loquaciousness makes it funny as he presents himself to be more intelligent and superior than the average person.
The comic is pretentious and verbose at times (on purpose), but it keeps you entertained due to its rich dialogue and pompous yet pitiful protagonist. For Fearscape, you are not focused on the story, but rather on Henryâ€™s deflection of the world around him. You don’t want to escape from Fearscape, instead, delve into.