Cartoonist Charles Forsman has built his reputation on unsettling, evocative stories exploring personal trauma, misanthropy, and self-discovery, constantly pushing himself to dig deeper into the tangled emotions that drive self-destructive behavior. After breaking out with his 2013 graphic novel The End Of The Fucking World (currently in development as a TV series for the U.K.’s Channel 4), Forsman has told stories about drug-addled introspection (Celebrated Summer) and a badass, tortured urban vigilante (Revenger). With his new project from Floating World Comics, Slasher, Forsman is crafting a psychosexual thriller in the vein of Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg, detailing the twisted relationship that develops between a data-entry specialist in her early ’20s, Christina, and a terminal teenage boy, Jack, she meets online.
This exclusive preview of April’s Slasher #1 introduces this disturbing friendship, beginning with Christina masturbating to a clip Jack has posted on a porn video-sharing site of him dragging a knife across his tongue. From there, Forsman delves into Jack’s stifling home life with his overprotective mother, building tension with a text conversation that has Christina and Jack fantasizing about how they can kill the authority figures in each other’s lives. Forsman’s 8-panel grid layout for the scenes with Jack and his mother creates a cramped, prison-like atmosphere, but once he puts on the gimp mask Christina sends him, the layouts open up to create a sense of freedom as he takes a picture of his new gift. Readers can discover more about these two characters when Slasher #1 hits stands on April 26, but in the meanwhile, here’s a taste of Forsman’s disquieting story.