Saturday, July 25, 2020

"One Million Tiny Fires," is Erotic, Surreal, and Terrifying

Ashely Robin Franklin created, "One Million Tiny Fires," for the Intktober event in 2019. Fantastic smaller-press publisher Silver Sprocket assisted in it getting a 2020 print run and I'm glad they did because this is a stellar 40-page one-shot/original graphic novel. Described by Franklin as, "An erotic queer horror comic," I agree it is quite erotic but not erotica, and is full of horror but lacks any kind of jump-scares so much as overwhelming dread. It is for sure a sci-fi tale, but takes place at a really small-scale so it is more slice-of-life than it is some kind of bombastic Summer blockbuster.

The story of, "One Million Tiny Fires," follows Briana and Cassie, a couple in an isolated Texas farmhouse, who have gone from being deeply in love to arguing all the time and threatening to leave one another. One night a strange light lands nearby and Cassie investigates it. After that, things start getting weird. Cassie suddenly is a lot more amorous after having had no interest in sex for quite some time. She also seems kind of aloof and weirdly relaxed compared to how high-strung she once was. Brianna is happy to have physical intimacy again, but things otherwise just

As, "One Million Tiny Fires," proceeds things only get weirder, with the weather shifting and Brianna getting only more and more out of her normal character, it is intense and impressively full of foreboding. Franklin's artwork is fantastic, imparting the intimacy of erotic scenes as expertly as she illustrates some visceral body-horror when things get especially scary towards the end. I really enjoyed, "One Million Tiny Fires," blend of the erotic and the horrifying. You can ask your comic shop to order you a copy or you can buy one directly from Silver Sprocket at their website.
5 out of 5 stars.

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