Review - Old Folks Home

Laser Age Comics continues their "Year of Fear" series with the third entry titled Old Folks Home. For those unaware, the series started with The Abortion and was followed by Yellow. The former was about an aborted fetus extracting revenge on its parents while the latter was about an older murderer on a rampage. Those expecting Old Folks Home to be any less dystopian should probably just move along.

Written by Jamie McMorrow and illustrated by Garry McLaughlin (inking help by Jenna Morgan), Old Folks Home features a group of older parents who escape from their retirement home. Their reasoning is that their children never visited so they'll take the visit to their children. That's all good and well until you realize that the ex-residents of Craigview have something else in mind when visiting their children. That's just about when everything goes off the rails in the book.

The story focuses on one son in particular, but it could easily be applied to all of the children. He's going about his life like nothing has changed despite his parents spending time in Craigview alone. It's not until his life is in jeopardy that he shows even the slightest hint of remorse at practically ignoring his parents. Even the parents show signs of disgust with one another when everything falls apart during their plan.

The book tackles the predominant feelings of loneliness and disrespect. The parents are lonely and feel betrayed by their children for whom they sacrificed everything for. It's a timeless circle that we're all guilty of. Parents feel ignored when their children grow up and live their lives and feel they're owed for doing so much for their kids. Children are living their lives and do pay less attention to their parents because they think their lives are more important. And then the children become the parents and they're thrown in a home while their children ignore them.

The most striking thing about the book is the black and white illustrations that add a sense of foreboding to the story. The lines are very harsh and stand out and add a level of boldness to the story's content. The dialogue is written with a Scottish flair which was a little strange at first but you get used it. That's not to say it's inappropriate; it's just when you read mostly American comics you're not used to variations of the English language (McMorrow and McLoughlin are based in Glasgow).

The ending isn't as shocking as it was in Yellow and the content is nearly as intense as it was in The Abortion. Instead, Old Folks Home is more of a sobering look at the relationships we as children have with our parents later in our lives. It's an interesting read.