A couple take a trip to the beach, returning with a small trophy of their time together. But their actions have unleashed a darkness which will spread like a virus through their lives.
Funded via Kickstarter in 2016, Take Only Photographs, Leave Only Footprints is the first production by Frisson Comics. Inspired by an event in the lives of creators Tom Smith and Katie Whittle, it’s a dark tale which brings to mind MR James’ classic horror story “Whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad”, which also focuses on the danger of disturbing ancient things, as well as the shocking body horror of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.
Bringing a barnacled-creature home after a day spent at the shore, Ben and Kate find their lives disturbed. Soon, they are torn apart by petty deceipt and disgust. Wracked by disturbing nightmares, they slowly discover that their lack of respect for nature is eating through their community.
The art in Take Only Photographs is scratchy and rough edged. It conjurers up a sense of decay and corruption, or a half remembered childhood nightmare. Throughout, there’s a disgust at the idea of ageing, of the body, and of loosing any sense of self.
Despite its lack of polish, the art carries much of the storytelling, with dialogue mostly take the form of snatches of conversations, capturing a terse relationship. Katie Whittle has a real talent for capturing the expressions and body language of the characters.
If you like body horror and are looking for something a little different, you can find out more about Take only Photographs, Leave Only Photographs from the Frisson Comics website.