CW: Graphic violence, dark content, murder, etc. (This won’t be discussed in my review, but more for a content warning for this series in general)
Recently, I have been re-reading some of my favorite graphic novels or comic series that I own. One of those series is Nailbiter. Nailbiter is a horror graphic novel series set in a small town in Oregon. This series feels like a mix of Criminals Minds, Se7en, and Twin Peaks put together in a story. I first read Nailbiter in 2016 and I credit the series for helping me get more into reading comics. With that being said, I never fully finished the series. I wanted to change that, so I spent a few weeks reading all six books. This series did not disappoint and it remains one of my all-time favorite graphic novel series.
Nailbiter tells the story of NSA agent Nicholas Finch who is in a bad place mentally. He gets a call from a colleague, FBI Agent Charles Carroll, to come to Buckaroo, Oregon. Carroll is investigating why so many serial killers are from Buckaroo. As Finch arrives, Carroll has gone missing. Finch wants to find and rescue Carroll, but also figure out what Carroll recovered before he went missing. Finch partners with local Sheriff Crane, a local who grew up in Buckaroo, along with one of the Buckaroo serial killers, Edward “Nailbiter” Warren. The trio finds themselves in danger more often than not, although they do finally get the answers they were so desperately searching for.
I think what makes Nailbiter so good is how each volume truly builds off of the other. Minor characters introduced in the first two volumes end up playing a big role in the later volumes. The last volume ties in with the events of the first volume which I think helps make the series more cohesive. In addition to that, each volume ends on a big cliffhanger, so I found myself going through volume after volume without taking a reading break. I’m glad I ordered all the volumes in one sitting, so I didn’t have to wait to read the next one.
The art in Nailbiter complements the series. There are several panels where you will see a character exploring an area and then see someone sneaking up on that character. It feels like I’m reading a slasher film in that way. I also found myself once I finished the volume, paging through it for a second time to solely focus on the art. This isn’t something that I do all the time, but for Nailbiter, I think it’s so worth it.
I feel accomplished that I finally finished Nailbiter. The last volume wrapped everything up and it felt really satisfying to read. Finishing Nailbiter has encouraged me to take a look at my graphic novels shelf and find other series that I didn’t fully finish reading. As an avid collector, I want to have more completed comic series on my shelves.