Here’s the first in my top ten. As with last year this isn’t highlighting particular pieces of work, but rather specific pieces of writing within works. They are in no particular order.
Severed by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
Severed is a brilliant horror comic. The story tells of a young boy in depression era America, searching for his wayward father. He befriends another teenager, Sam and together they fall foul of a travelling salesman who cannibalises children. The scene in question; the two boys wind up at the salesmans house for dinner where the conversation turns to money.
The salesman produces a bear trap and slams it down on the table. He challenges Jack, our main character, to put his hand in the middle, telling him it’ll be fine as long as the pin stays in. Then he dares Sam to pull it. Sam, of course won’t dare, but the salesman starts offering him money. Just a few dollars at first, then more, and more, until the table is covered and money rains down from above. The tension is unbearable.
The salesman before this has come across as a pretty cookie cutter monster of the week, but with this scene, you can see his thinking, you see how smart he is. It’s a terrifying scene and one of the best of the year.