Katie Hicks confronts stomach horror in ‘Guts’ zine


Comic, Katie Hicks, 12 pgs, katiehicksart.com

“Toronto-ish” artist Hicks calls this “a horror zine about my terrible stomach aches.”It’s an apt description, as Hicks is pierced through the torso on near every page. Orange spews in every direction, threatening to take over each page. There’s a palpable sense of fear throughout. The aches come out of nowhere and everywhere at once: an inescapable terror. They take Hicks over, flip her inside out, and threaten to transform into a worse monster yet.

Hicks’s art excels at combining this horrific mood with a look that is sincere, sweet even. There’s a tactile sensation to the liquids oozing across each page, and the Riso ink’s stark contrasts of orange, black and blue give each image it own distinct vibrancy, amounting to a cohesive and terrifying whole. The zine evokes memories of my childhood chronic headaches. I could only process the flashes of colour from pain and nausea at the time.

Hick’s excels at creating a mood as familiar as it is terrifying. Just as the best horror ought to be.