You know the saying don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, for the book Colder I did just that. My interest in this book came when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw the cover, the image of the main character slipping his fingers underneath his skin letting the blood drip down the side of his face. The only color in the picture comes from the blood and the green from his eyes. The cover stood out to me since it illustrates something so unique and graphic. The illustrator for is Juan Ferreyra who also helped write alongside Paul Tobin. The book series was published in 2013 by Dark Horse and there are fifteen paper issues and three volumes that contain five issues each.
The main character of the story is Declan Thomas who is an ex-inmate of an insane asylum that had burnt down. Declan has the power to go into people’s minds and cure them of their insanity. However, he is unable to use the power to heal his own. He is being hunted by a predator named Nimble Jack, who consumes people’s insanity and is always hungry. The idea of having the ability to cure other people’s insanity while looking for a way to cure your own was fascinating to me. The premise leads me to believe the reader would go into people’s minds to see the insanity that they have in their heads and explore how they live with it. In the book, insanity is perceived as its own reality that overlaps our own. Some people get a glimpse into that reality, and that’s what drives them to become mentally ill.
The reality of insanity has interesting imagery and is drawn differently than the sane world. All of the illustration and coloring is done deliberately to show the difference between sanity and insanity. For example, in that reality, there is no color, everything is darkly shaded and pale the only exception being the color of blood. While in the sane realm, everything has color and isn’t so drab. The main character stands out in the real world and has the same color scheme as the world of insanity.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story even though I had different expectations. I also feel that the way that mental illness was handled wasn’t the best. They kept referring to it as insanity instead of an illness. I feel like they could have dealt with that differently since mental illness is a huge problem in the world that many people suffer from and can be seen as a touchy subject. It isn’t a big deal with this book series since it doesn’t dive too deeply into insanity and just uses it as a plot device. The overall story didn’t stick with me, but the premise that it eluded to stuck with me. I give this series a 6.5 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick read.