REVIEW: 'I Hate This Place' #6 by Kyle Starks, Artyom Topilin, and Lee Loughridge



Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Artyom Topilin, Lee Loughridge
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 1, 2023
Cover Price: $3.99


"Check this series out. You won't regret it." -SKTCHD
Last year's breakout horror series returns!
Trudy's past comes back to haunt her, which wouldn't be so bad if she and Gabby weren't already literally haunted by unimaginable forces of evil on a daily basis. Can't a gal catch a break?

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

'I Hate This Place' by Kyle Starks, Artyom Topilin, and Lee Loughridge is back with a new arc and once again proves the worst monsters among us are of the human variety. One of the best comic series of 2022, IHTP returns readers to Trudy and Gabby's ranch where the supernatural beings outside their door are the least of their worries. 

 Gabby inherited the ranch but happens to be cursed. They'll be forever linked to the property making leaving impossible, having to be indoors at night while strange beings lurk just outside. Unfortunately, the true threat in the last arc was a gangster pretending to be a ranch hand to retrieve money from a heist somewhere on the property. Things didn't go well for him but now Trudy's past comes knocking on her door and not with good intentions. 

Starks writes a horror story that's almost like a sleight of hand. At the beginning of the issue, we see these weird deadly creatures attack the characters and those are anxiety-inducing. Then we meet Trudy's father and the real terror begins. Stark uses different tools to deliver fear and dread to the reader just by enveloping his protagonists in extreme danger. You'll be in shock, aghast at what happens and you'll genuinely fear for Trudy and Gabby. The tyrannical abusive pastor father is unhappy about her life choices and so the hate becomes palpable in his actions putting the couple who's grown together and fought other evils is now faced with a different kind of evil. The traditional disapproving homophobic parent trope is sadly a real-life occurrence so it's depicted in fiction a lot but few are as terrifying as this. 

Artyom Topilin and Lee Loughridge continue to do incredible art. The opening sequence is bright and very cinematic, like old-school creature features where the angle of the shot, or panel in this case, is facing up to the panicked victims. But again, the true monster is Trudy's dad and Topilin makes sure he's portrayed larger than life, perhaps in the way she sees her father, a looming force of nature that she defies despite how menacing he is. 

'I Hate This Place' is back with another great arc. Complicated, intense, infuriating, chilling, and downright blood-boiling, Starks and company have tapped into some all-too-real horrors.