Dead Mall follows the journey of five teens who take a last look around Penn Mills Galleria before it’s demolished. However, what they experience is far from what they anticipated. Adam Cesare and David Stoll explore this and more in Dead Mall from Dark Horse Comics.
The Penn Mills Galleria is about to be demolished. Five teens sneak into the mall to take a last look around before it’s gone. However, while Penn Mills has been closed for years, the mall is far from abandoned. A night of exploration becomes a shopping spree from hell. The teens must contend with the sprawling, transformative cosmic horror of Penn Mills or be trapped forever within the Dead Mall.
The four-issue miniseries created by horror author Adam Cesare (Clown in a Cornfield) with artist David Stoll (Pantomime) has been collected into a trade paperback hitting shelves this June. Lettering by Justin Birch and collected edition cover by Trevor Henderson.
While the entire miniseries is well worth reading, the illustrations from Stoll are some of the most visually stunning pieces of comic book artwork in recent years. The use of various illustration techniques to express sound and other non-verbal cues is simply brilliant.
The mall itself being the narrator of the story is such a unique take on the storyteller. Adam Cesare’s choice to use a living mall as the narrator brings a fresh perspective to the horror genre. As the teens explore Penn Mills, they must navigate the horrors of the mall and its supernatural powers.
Cesare has a flair for young adult horror. While he is known for his horror novels for young adults, he brings a unique perspective to young adult horror in comics. With Dead Mall, he does not disappoint. The pacing of the graphic novel flows effortlessly, with excellent dialogue and well-developed characters.
Stoll’s use of different art styles is also a standout feature of the miniseries. By using different styles to separate between past and present scenes, Stoll creates a seamless transition between different periods of the mall’s history.
Another impressive feature of Dead Mall is Stoll’s attention to detail in creating the Penn Mill Galleria. He created the entire floor plan of the mall to depict an accurate placement of each scene. This elevates the reading experience and immerses you in the world of Penn Mills. You can practically imagine walking through the deserted mall, seeing the cobwebs and abandoned storefronts as you read.
The atmosphere of Dead Mall is disturbing and unsettling but wraps the reader up in the world of Penn Mills. The sense of foreboding grows with each page turn, and you never know what will happen next. The teens’ journey through the mall’s twisting and turning corridors is a thrilling experience
The four-issue miniseries collected into trade paperback hits local comic book shelves on July 14, 2023 while dropping at bookstores on July 11. Be sure to grab a copy of Dead Mall…you won’t be disappointed.