Webcomic / His Face All Red
aka: Face All Red

"We were separated. The beast must have devoured him. This was the only trace I found."

An enigmatic 10-page horror comic, reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. When a wolf begins terrorizing their village, two brothers venture out into the woods to find and kill it. Only one comes back. Claiming that the wolf got his brother, the survivor wins the admiration of the villagers (who had previously mocked him).

Then his brother comes back, although it may not really his brother, and he panics.

His Face All Red has been praised by Kate Beaton and Scott McCloud for its pacing and atmosphere. Can be found here.

It's been published in print form in the collection Through the Woods.

The author, Emily Carroll, has written other comics as well—some in the same horror vein, others with different moods. They're all well worth a read.

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His Face All Red contains examples of:

  • The Ace: The older brother, who is strong, handsome, and easily liked.
  • Cain and Abel: The protagonist is the Cain, admitting on page one that he killed his brother.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The torn coat.
  • Comforting the Widow: Implied.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: The comic ends with the brother's body turning his head to look at the protagonist.
  • Gainax Ending: What was the other brother digging? Which one was his brother?
  • How We Got Here: The story starts the older and younger brother at a party, with the younger brother telling the events of the week up to that point.
  • Infinite Canvas: The page grows longer while they're in the woods. Also inverted on a couple of one-panel pages.
  • Ironic Echo: "Came from the woods." (most strange things do), first said about the beast, then said about his brother.
  • Left Hanging: The protagonist climbs down the hole to see if his brother's body is there. It is, still bloody. It turns to look. The end.
  • Mind Screw: Why is the "fake" brother digging? What is it? Is the dead brother alive? Was it really a wolf that killed the animals?
  • Nameless Narrative: The characters, apart from the protagonist, are "my brother" and "his starry-eyed wife."
  • Nightmare Face: The titular brother's face, aided by the stark minimalism of the depiction of his gunshot wound is this.
  • No Ending: See Left Hanging for further details.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first half of the story runs purely on this, light on gore and heavy on tension. The last third, however...
  • Not Quite Dead: The older brother pulls this at the end of the story. Possibly.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Older brother and younger brother, respectively.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The younger brother is a poor, weakling man who's laughed at when he says he'll find the beast wrecking their farms. The elder is a rich, handsome man with a beautiful wife who is admired by all.
  • Spotting the Thread: The younger brother is the only one in the town to notice that his older brother's coat is undamaged. Not that this helps any.
  • The Resenter: The younger brother. Especially when he knows that everyone will be grateful to his brother when they say what happens in the woods—and laugh at the younger brother for hiding.
  • Villain Protagonist: The younger brother shoots his brother because he resents him. However, he may be A Lighter Shade of Grey compared to the monster... if it even exists.
  • Wham Line: One to open the story.
    Younger Brother: ''This man is not my brother... [Because] just last week... I killed my brother.
  • Wham Shot: A twofer. The younger brother travels to his brother's makeshift burial ground. He finds the body. Which then turns to look at him.
  • Youngest Child Wins: The younger brother tries this. The admiration for his brother is transferred to him for supposedly killing the wolf, his brother's wife seeks comfort in his arms, and he sleeps easily. Then his brother comes back.

Alternative Title(s): Face All Red