By Ho Che Anderson (Fantagraphics Books)
After the groundbreaking graphic journalism of his examination of Martin Luther King (see King – a Comic Biography: the Special Edition) Ho Che Anderson has turned his talents to pure fiction in a startling and visceral re-interpretation of the legend of the banshee (or Bien Sidhe) transplanted to the cold nights and inhospitable deserts of the American west.
Against a backdrop of a serial killer stalking the area a stranded young woman is picked up by a striking woman in a fancy car. Despite her misgivings the girl soon warms to her rescuer, sharing her life and dreams. She has no idea that her life will soon end.
Whilst seeking answers to her own obscured past the driver instinctively knows she is an Angel of Death drawn to the side of people soon to die. Is she a cursed witness or somehow the facilitator? As she discovers some truths in rapid, slashes of flashbacks and jumps forward she zeroes in on the killer: someone she knew intimately.
However, when she meets another of her kind the secrets revealed only lead to a greater mystery; one infinite in scope and terrifyingly ancient in execution…
Citing Dario Argento, David Lynch, Richard Sala and Charles Burns as inspiration and with hints and overtones of Trashy Road Movies, Celtic mythology, the cosmology of H.P. Lovecraft and the modern bogeyman of Serial Killers this is a scary, sexy, gory story that heeds your full attention but delivers a devastating punch. Anderson is as much designer as illustrator and both his art and his stories are stark, powerfully arresting, even challenging concoctions.
The art, jagged black and white with judicious doses of red, isn’t prettied up and the narrative isn’t spoon fed. The reader will have to work to glean the meaning here, but the end result is more than worth the effort.
Sand & Fury © 2010 Fantagraphics Books. All content © 2010 Ho Che Anderson. All rights reserved.