Chloe Pierce’s fiance has committed suicide, leaving behind a self-help book as his only clue. Chloe spirals in her grief and become hospitalized herself. She comes to with the realization that in order to unravel the mystery of Philip’s death, she needs to investigate the author of the book: Astrid Mueller. She’s become THE self-help person to most of the world, including Hollywood. Her biggest success story is a former child actor whom she helped to get clean. As a reporter, Chloe has the clearance to get into her headquarters in Chicago and demand an audience with her. However, after seeing the fabled and feared “Clean Room,” it’s clear that Astrid and her company are not what they seem. The suicide of the child actor, under the same circumstances as Philip, has not only Chloe but the rest of the world questioning what it is Astrid actually does.
Horror is not usually a genre I read. I picked this up because Gail Simone co-wrote it with Jon Davis-Hunt, and as an extra bonus, Jenny Frisson created the covers. There’s a great start here for a commentary on the dangers of cults preying on faith and religion in a supernatural horror setting. The events here in the first volume are wrapped up nicely, yet open-ended enough to intrigue readers into the second volume.
The art was totally gross… but in a good way that befits the story and it’s creepy, ominous, and antagonistic tone. There is nice contrast between the inside of Astrid’s headquarters (sterile colors and precise linework) and the outside world (muddier colors and messier lines) that I appreciated.
I gotta say, it was entertaining enough for me to get through with (relative) ease, but it’s not one I’ll be continuing. There’s a reason I don’t read horror – I’m a certified scaredy cat – and it seems not even the great Gail Simone can convert me =P
Simone, Gail, Jon Davies-Hunt, and Quinton Winter. Clean Room (Vol. 1): Immaculate Conception. 2016.