Cullen Bunn has shown time and time again that he can breathe fear into any story he tells, particularly when shedding light on humanity itself. His newest story, Door to Door Night by Night, reminds us of what he is so uniquely gifted at. His partnership with artist Sally Cantirino makes for a not to be missed tale of demons, both inner and real.
Cantirino’s art is moody and intriguing, capturing humans and the creatures they encounter in all their glory as we explore rural America alongside the story’s door-to-door team. As signs for missing children begin appearing on the page, you can’t help but continue in hopes that your questions will be answered before the next panel creates even more queries.
Door to Door Night by Night takes us back to the time of the roaming door-to-door salesperson traveling town to town selling raffle tickets in support of the local volunteer fire departments. We meet an unlikely team of door-to-door salespeople as their travels take them to the most terrifying of settings-West Virginia. Bunn and Cantirino create a motley crew of characters in Will, Laney, Cal, Fred, Alex, and their new companion Maxine and you can’t help but root for them even if they refuse to do it for themselves.
A college dropout, a man of faith who has fallen from grace, a disgraced teacher-each character starts out simply in how they’re introduced, but we unearth so much more to their individual journeys as we watch their new story unfold as a team. Though there are skeletons in each character’s closet (and a few in some abandoned homes), humor is seamlessly blended into many of the more serious moments, making it a delight to read and curious for what is next for this unlikely team. A beautiful example of the merging of humor and horror occurs toward the end of the first issue after an action sequence which adds levity to a scene that could otherwise feel quite dire.
Door to Door Night by Night feels nostalgic and nerve-wracking, reminding me of what it felt like to rewatch old horror movies where the terror came from the unknown lurking in the shadows, not necessarily from a spectacle. Holding a mirror up to humanity can be just as terrifying as a monster lurking in the lake, and this story revisits that sense of fear.
The combination of curious and three-dimensional characters, many of whom are inspired by Bunn’s father’s time as a traveling salesman, and a new threat for every location change leaves the reader wanting more and begging to know what’s next. Bunn and Cantirino, as a collaborative team, create a unique, beautiful, and terrifying world filled with monsters we could not imagine.