Identity thief is a horror based one-shot published by Fanboy Comics. This suspenseful tale is written by Bryant Dillon and illustrated by artist Meaghan O’Keefe. Craig and Daphne attempt to leave behind their cryptic past and move into a new apartment across the country. While settling in, Craig discovers a latch to what looks like a storage space within the apartment. Daphne admits that she hadn’t noticed the small compartment upon previous inspection and intends to contact the landlord to learn more.
As the story progresses, we soon learn that there is something more sinister than empty boxes tucked away inside the mysterious crawl space. A misshapen creature with humanoid features escapes from its secluded hiding spot at night to investigate these new inhabitants. With animal-like movements, this personage infiltrates the lives of Craig and Daphne. It begins to mimic Craig’s daily behaviors and actions after he and Daphne retire at night. The creature attempts to draw with Craig’s art supplies and uses his toiletries. Upon discovering a disturbing sketch, a fight breaks out between the couple and Craig lashes out. As the title infers, this pale monstrosity attempts to steal Craig’s identity by becoming more like him. By observing his behaviors, the creature begins to not only pass as human, but remove Craig from the picture entirely.
Identity Thief has a number of strengths. Some panels are very well crafted with haunting imagery that match the tone of the premise. The monstrosity plaguing the young couple is both intriguing and disturbing while requiring hardly any dialogue whatsoever. Hidden within the stylized art panels are a few clever nods to other horror classics.
While Identity Thief is a clever take on stolen identity, there are some aspects that could be greatly improved upon. The art is hit or miss from panel to panel. Some pages look like they are done by completely different artists at times. The art has a unique style, but body proportions and detail drastically differ throughout the entire book. The creature emotes a disturbing presence, but is undercut by the awkward use of onomatopoeia. Instead of allowing the art to speak for itself, they insert action words to describe what is clearly taking place. By doing so, the disturbing tone becomes campy.
The evolution of the creature is clear and vivid, but the transition made by Craig is more confusing. The being from the crawl space learns Craig’s behaviors and takes drastic measures to look more like him. This concept is clear and direct. However, Craig’s metamorphosis feels abrupt and leaves the reader asking,”how?” There is clearly a deeper message within the story, but its muddled by the lack of reasoning behind Craig’s transformation.
If you have a general love of horror and things that go bump in the night, Identity Thief is a fun quick read. Its not the most well crafted story, but the concept and art are quite engaging at times. If you’re interested in reading the comic, you can find it at Comixology.com or fanboycomics.ecrater.com.