The Squirrel Machine


By Hans Rickheit (Fantagraphics Books)
ISBN:  978-1-60699-301-9

¡Perfect Present Alert!  For him or her – if they’re “Of Age”

Hans Rickheit was born in 1973 and has been producing skilfully crafted art in many different arenas since the early 1990s, beginning with self-published mini-comics and graduating to full-sized, full-length epics as well as dabbling in film, music, gallery works and even performance art. A Xeric award beneficiary, he came to broader attention in 2001 with the controversial graphic novel Chloe, and has since spread himself wide contributing to numerous anthologies and periodicals.

He has been called obscurantist, and indeed in all his beautifully rendered and realised concoctions meaning is layered and open to wide interpretation. His preferred oeuvre is the imagery and milieu of Victorian/Edwardian Americana which provided such rich fantasist pickings for Poe, Lovecraft and Derleth, and his meticulously clear line is a perfect counterpoint to the cloud of mystery and cosmic confusion engendered by the protagonists of his latest book The Squirrel Machine.

The brothers Edmund and William Torpor live in a secluded 19th century New England town but have never been part of the community. Raised alone by their artist mother they are quite different from other kids, and Edmund especially is obsessed with arcane engineering and assembling musical instruments from utterly inappropriate components.  Fantastic dream-like journeys and progressions mark their isolated existence, which is far more in tune with a greater metaphysical cosmos, but as puberty gradually moves them to an awareness of base human sexuality they find the outside world impacting theirs in ways that can only end in tragedy and horror…

Moreover, just where did the plans for the Squirrel Machine come from…?

Visually reminiscent of the works of Rick Geary, this is also a uniquely surreal and mannered design, a highly charged and subtly disturbing delusion that will chill and upset and possibly even outrage many readers but it is also compelling, seductive and hard to forget. As long as you’re an adult and braced for the unexpected, expect this to be one of the best books you’ll read this decade.

© 2009 Fantagraphics Books. Contents © 2009 Hans Rickheit. All Rights Reserved.

Vlad the Impaler: the Man who was Dracula


By Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón (Hudson Street Press/ Penguin Group USA)
ISBN: 978-1-59463-058-3

Sid Jacobson was a hard man to write about, preferring to let his work speak for him. As writer and editor he masterminded the Harvey Comics monopoly of strips for younger American readers in the 1960s and 1970s, co-creating Richie Rich and Wendy, the Good Little Witch among others, and then worked the same magic for Marvel’s Star Comics imprint, where as managing editor he oversaw a vast amount of family-friendly material; both self created – such as Royal Roy or the superb Planet Terry – and a huge basket of licensed properties,

In latter years he has worked closely with fellow Harvey alumnus Ernie Colón on such thought-provoking graphic enterprises as The 9/11 Report: a Graphic Adaptation (2006) and its 2008 sequel, After 9/11: America’s War on Terror. This year they released Che: a Graphic Biography of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, the now-mythic icon of rebellion.

Ernie Colón was born in Puerto Rico in 1931: a creator whose work has been seen by generations of readers. Whether as artist, writer, colourist or editor his contributions have benefited the entire industry from the youngest (Monster in My Pocket, Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost for Harvey Comics, and many similar projects for Marvel’s Star Comics), to the traditional comicbook fans with Battlestar Galactica, Damage Control and Doom 2099 for Marvel, Arak, Son of Thunder and Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, the Airboy revival for Eclipse, Magnus: Robot Fighter for Valiant and so very many others.

There are also his sophisticated experimental works such as indie thriller Manimal, and his seminal graphic novels Ax and the Medusa Chain. Even now he’s still hard at work on the strip SpyCat which has appeared in Weekly World News since 2005.

Jacobson and Colón together are a comics maven’s dream come true and their bold choice of biography and reportage as well as their unique take on characters and events always pays great dividends. Vlad the Impaler is by far their most fun project to date: a fictionalised account of the Wallachian prince who was raised by his enemies as a literal hostage to fortune, only to reconquer and lose his country not once, but many times.

The roistering, bloody, brutal life of this Romanian national hero, and tenuous basis of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, is a fascinating, baroque, darkly funny yarn, capturing a troubled soul’s battle with himself as much as the Muslim and Christian superpowers that treated his tiny principality as their plaything.

With startling amounts of sex and violence this book makes no excuses for a patriot and freedom fighter who was driven by his horrific bloodlust and (justifiable?) paranoia to become a complete beast: clearly the very worst of all possible monsters – a human one.

Sharp, witty, robust and engaging, with a quirky twist in the tale, this is a good old-fashioned shocker that any history-loving gore-fiend will adore.

Text © 2009 Sid Jacobson. Art © 2009 Ernie Colón. All rights reserved.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks


By Max Brooks & Ibraim Roberson (Duckworth)
ISBN:  978-0-71563-815-6

I’ve never been the biggest fan of zombie stories but occasionally something really tasty comes along and I’m forced to re-evaluate my position. Such an item is this truly impressive little graphic novel from the writer of World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide.

Max Brooks is a successful actor and screenwriter (most notably part of the team scripting Saturday Night Live) and cartoon fans might recognize his name from the voice credits of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Batman Beyond and Justice League. You probably laughed at a lot of his dad’s movie’s like High Anxiety, Young Frankenstein and the first version of the Producers.

As with his previous books the story is told with devastating, deadpan delivery in a documentary manner, with sparse captions and no dialogue, but the superb, tonal black and white artwork of Brazilian Ibraim Roberson transforms this compendium of “authenticated” undead attacks and assorted government’s cover-ups into a truly chilling catalogue of near-disasters.

The Living Dead are animated by a virus millions of years old, transmitted when a sufferer bites a victim. It can be found in every corner of the Earth, and these deadly dozen outbreaks clearly show how lucky we’ve been thus far.

These vignettes depict Us versus Them from Central Africa in 60,000BC to Joshua Tree National Park in 1992AD, via Egypt 3000BC, Scotland 121AD (just before Hadrian built that wall), the Central Pacific in 1579 (on one of Sir Francis Drake’s voyages), in Siberia, 1583, Japan 1611, on a Portuguese slave-ship in 1690, St. Lucia in 1862, a Foreign Legion fortress in 1893, China during Japan’s campaign during WWII, and at a Soviet science station during the Cold War, and the restrained matter-of-fact tone of the pieces make them some of the most gripping horror fiction I’ve ever seen.

Just keep telling yourself “Zombies don’t exist” and you’ll be fine.

Probably.
© 2009 Max Brooks. All Rights Reserved.

Crossing Midnight book 2:


By Mike Carey, Jim Fern, Eric Nguyen & Mark Pennington (Vertigo)
ISBN: 978-1-84576-726-6

Lots of westerners are fascinated with the myths and culture of Japan, but superbly sinister storyteller Mike Carey (his work, not him; he’s a thoroughly decent and upright young fellow) has taken it to a staggering new level of wit and sophistication, blending elegant fantasy with contemporary horror and crime cinema in this tale of a magical quest through the darkest lands of the of the Rising Sun both fabulously mythic and brutally, bewilderingly raw and modern.

Kai and Toshi Hara are twins born either side of the Witching Hour in Nagasaki, and that crucial time difference has shaped and blighted their lives. Born seven minutes after midnight Toshi is no ordinary girl: bold, energetic and utterly immune to all harm from edges and points. No blade will cut her; butt her 14 minute older brother seems painfully weak and mortal.

Their loving parents have problems too. Their mother was killed by Aratsu, celestial Lord of the Knives and restored without a soul whilst their father has been sucked into the deadly world of the Yakuza…

This second volume (collecting issues #6-12 of the impressive and stylish Vertigo comic book) finds Kai still hunting for his missing sister through the darkest, nastiest places of the city, whilst his sister undergoes an esoteric training period before she can become a full – if reluctant – servant to her divine master.

Kai finds an unlikely ally among the police and discovers the utterly mundane horrors of the Enjokosai when a trio of schoolgirls aid him in the hunt for his sister, much to their short-lived regret, as a dreadful supernatural beast comes hunting in those places where innocence is unashamedly for sale.

Enjokosai: “reward” or “compensated dating” is a publicly acknowledged and generally accepted phenomenon and common practice that sees Japanese schoolgirls flirt and accompany men for gifts, and although the girl is nominally dominant and dictates how far she will – or won’t – go, the dangers of openly eroticized children bargaining with sexually predatory men is one that thankfully just isn’t tolerated in many places outside Japan.

Kai’s search brings the vindictive world of the Kami directly to these thoroughly modern ladies with horrific consequences, but they’re just more collateral damage in a millennial struggle that is swiftly approaching a bloody climax.

With war brewing in the realm of spirits and shadows, rebellious Toshi is working to her own agenda but against creatures so ancient and diabolically experienced how can she possibly succeed or escape?

Split into two story-arcs, ‘A Map of Midnight’ and the intensely disturbing ‘Bedtime Stories’ Carey, Jim Fern, Eric Nguyen and Mark Pennington have truly pushed the boundaries of horror fiction, interweaving legendary Nippon and modern Japan with dystopian culture clashes, childhood terrors, gangster action and even social politics into a dazzling and very adult fairytale epic that nearly defies categorisation. It really is a series no mature fantasy fan should miss…
© 2007 Mike Carey and Jim Fern. All Rights Reserved.

Crossing Midnight book 1: Cut Here


By Mike Carey, Jim Fern, Rob Hunter & Mark Pennington (Vertigo)
ISBN: 978-1-84576-666-5

The variety and power of mythology is the greatest gift of our convoluted collective history as a species and for the imaginative amongst us it works twice. As children we absorb tales of magic and love and heroism with open-mouthed, unblinking wonder and they become part of our day-to-day existence: “fairy-tale romance”, “evil stepmother”, “Prince Charming” and a hundred other phrases are part of a verbal short-hand we all share without thinking. And when we’re older we seek out modern rehashings of those tales in our preferred media of fictional entertainment.

What horror-movie can’t be reduced to Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood, and which action blockbuster hasn’t got an indomitable Jack overcoming all obstacles? And Rom-Coms?: c’mon!

For some there are also tales from other cultures which can be ingested in pure form such as the various interpretations of China’s Monkey King (see Journey to the West, Monkey Subdues the White Bone Demon or Havoc in Heaven for example) or even the triumphant Fables revising our childhood landscape with all the scary, salacious bits restored…

And then there’s synthesis…

Lots of westerners are fascinated with the myths and culture of Japan, but scary storyteller Mike Carey has taken it to a captivating new level, blending elegant fantasy with contemporary horror stories and gangster cinema in this tale (comprising issues #1-5 of the much-missed Vertigo comic book) of a magical quest through the darkest parts of the modern lands of the Rising Sun.

Kai and Toshi Hara are twins born in Nagasaki, one either side of the Witching Hour, and that crucial time difference will forever blight their lives… Born seven minutes after midnight Toshi is no ordinary girl: bold, energetic and utterly immune to any and all harm from edges and points; no blade will touch; but her older brother seems painfully weak and mortal. Unknown to all when they were little kids they accidentally slipped into a spirit world, and although they came back their friend Saburo was never seen again.

Their loving parents have problems too. When father asks the wrong question about shipments at the office he falls foul of the Yakuza, and always Toshi is becoming more difficult, more rebellious…

One night when they are barely into their teens a figure appears in her room: Aratsu, celestial Lord of the Knives has come to claim her as his new servant, and unless she complies her family will suffer. Suddenly discovering his own supernatural ability Kai drives Aratsu away but he will return and if she goes it will be as if she never existed…

Seemingly helpless the twins are inexorably drawn into the world of the Kami, spirits and shadows real and hungry who shed no tears when their mortal pawns die in horrendous ways. As the real and unreal increasingly weave together Kai finds himself in the unusual role of protector, saving his father and rescuing Toshi from a life of immortal servitude and unending horror

Burt eventually Aratsu gets his way and Kai determines to get his sister back at all costs…

Carey, Fern, Hunter and Pennington have crafted a superb blend of legendary Nippon and modern Japan with dystopian culture clashes, childhood nightmares and gangster action swirling together in this compelling horror, mystery fairytale epic that almost defies categorisation. I define it as a book no adult fantasy fan should miss…
© 2007 Mike Carey and Jim Fern. All Rights Reserved.

Dracula


Adapted by Otto Binder & Craig Tennis, art by Alden McWilliams (Ballantine Books)
No ISBN: U2271

You’re never to young to be exposed to the classics or scared out of your wits, and this delightful remnant from my own far-distant youth always brings back the gory, glory days of Bela Lugosi on TV and trying to sneak in to the latest Hammer Horror at the pictures (too young, not too cheap!) as well as such diverse treats as Famous Monsters of Filmland and other assorted illicit thrills that made we baby-boomers such terrific well-rounded, fully-socialised individuals.

At a time when scary movies, as well as Super-Spies, superheroes and comics in general, were all experiencing a popular revival, lots of strips made the jump to paperback format as publishers courted new markets. Along with lots of Mad collections, newspaper comic-strips, resized black and white comicbook reprints (such as High Camp Superheroes) and a host of other retreads, the occasional all-new item appeared.

One such is this delightfully forthright, faithful and respectful – if tension and terror free – adaptation of Bram Stoker’s gothic classic, adroitly encapsulated by comics and pulp sci fi legend Otto Binder (and Craig Tennis – of whom I know almost nothing other than he was a TV scripter) and drawn by the “deserves-to-be-legendary” Al McWilliams, a superb comics illustrator and draughtsman often confused with and nearly as good as his near-namesake Al Williamson.

The story is as you remember it; effective and pretty rather than beautiful and terrifying, but for a little seven year old it was a treasured item to be pored over, traced and adored, and today’s film fans might be enticed by Christopher Lee’s voluble introduction.

Even though it was reprinted by Manor Books in 1975, I suspect this isn’t the easiest of books to find, and to be completely honest the alternating portrait and landscape layouts make reading it a bit of a juggling act, but still and all I wish somebody somewhere would rescue this little gem from near obscurity. Any opportunistic publishers listening out there?
© 1966 Russ Jones Productions.

Requiem Vampire Knight Tome 2: Dracula and The Vampires Ball


By Pat Mills & Ledroit (Panini Books UK)
ISBN: 978-1-84653-438-6

The second double compilation of Pat Mills and Olivier Ledroit’s darkly spectacular masterpiece of nihilistic anti-heroism intensifies the decadent horrors with the next two translated volumes that created such a storm when first released in France. Dracula and The Vampire Ball resumes the tale of Heinrich Augsburg, a Nazi soldier doomed to unlive his life as a vampire warrior in a macabre inverse world of evil, which began in Requiem Vampire Knight Tome 1: Resurrection and Danse Macabre.

Resurrection is a brooding, blood-drenched world of eternal strife and warfare: a grim, fantastic mirror of Earth with the seas and land-masses reversed, where time runs backwards, populated by all the worst sinners of Earth reincarnated as monsters of myth – a realm where the ranked dead expiate or exacerbate the sins of their former lives.

This tome further explores the deeds that brought Heinrich (now called Requiem) to the very apex of the hell-world’s hierarchy as a full knight at the court of Dracula, trapped in a spiral of bloodletting, debauchery and intrigue. His position is not secure. Not only has he earned the enmity of the treacherous faction of elite Nosferatu led by Lady Claudia Demona, Lord Mortis and Baron Samedi, but it appears that he may be a returned soul…

Long before Augsberg died on a frozen battlefield, killed by a Russian he was trying to rape, the Templar Heinrich Barbarossa had committed such atrocities in the name of Christianity that he was guaranteed a place in Dracula’s inner circle when he inevitably reached Resurrection. But soon this new Vampire Knight Thurim committed an unpardonable crime and was excised from the court and Resurrection itself.

But now Requiem, already plagued by memories of his doomed affair with the Jewess Rebecca, is the subject of dangerous talk. Far too many vampires are remarking how similar to the disgraced Thurim the newcomer seems…

And what’s worse for him is that as the interminable battles (incredibly realised by the epic mastery of Ledroit) with such foes as the Gods of Limbo, the arcane order of Archaeologists, Lamias, Werewolves, Ghouls and others, Requiem discovers that Rebecca too is on Resurrection and the only way she can find peace is to “expire” the one responsible for her being there…

Blending decadent, opulent, Machiavellian dalliance with the wildest dreams – and grim, black wit – of a new De Sade, the tensions of the palace even outstrip the constant eye-popping action on myriad battlefields, so this book ends far too quickly on yet another cliffhanger when Rebecca is first captured by the Vampires only to escape with the still besotted and now wildly off-reservation Requiem. And their headlong flight has catapulted the doomed ex-lovers straight into the mouth of a cosmic dragon storm…

Supplemented by a gallery of the artist’s series paintings this astonishing, captivating work for the Goth within is an adult fantasy fan’s darkest dream come true. More please and soon…

© 2000, 2001, 2009 Nickel, Mills, Ledroit. All rights Reserved.

Requiem Vampire Knight Tome 1: Resurrection and Danse Macabre


By Pat Mills & Ledroit (Panini Books UK)
ISBN: 978-1-84653-437-9

As is so often the case Europe is the last and most beneficial arena for the arts and untrammelled creativity, and none more so than comics and sequential narrative. For some reason the Continent cherishes the best of the world’s past as well as nurturing the fresh and new, without too much concern for historical bugbears of political correctness, gaffes and contemporary censoriousness – which is why so many British and American strip creators produce their best work there.

Perhaps it’s simply because they revere not revile popular arts as much as classical ones….

Requiem Vampire Knight is an impressive example of self-publishing done right, and happily with commensurate rewards. For years writer Pat Mills wanted to break into the European market and in 2000 he did so by setting up Nickel Editions with publisher Jacques Collin (whose Zenda Editions produced some of the nicest looking albums of the 1980s) and artist Olivier Ledroit who illustrated the first four books of the incredibly popular Chroniques de la Lune Noire (Black Moon Chronicles) for Zenda before the series transferred to Dargaud. Mills and Ledroit were already old comrades having previously worked on the impressive Sha.

Mills is well known to readers of this blog (see for example Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing and his incontestable masterpiece Charley’s War) but perhaps Ledroit is not so familiar. After studying Applied Arts he began his career as an illustrator for games magazines and broke into Bandes Dessinee (that’s comics to thee and me) in 1989 with the aforementioned Black Moon Chronicles, written by François Marcela Froideval.

Specialising in fantasy art Ledroit drew Thomas Mosdi’s Xoco (1994) before teaming with Pat Mills on the acerbic, futurist thriller Sha, set in an ultra-religious fascistic USA (1996-1999). His lush painterly style was adapted to fairytales in 2003 with L’Univers Féerique d’Olivier Ledroit, and he is credited as one of the founding fathers of the darkly baroque fantasy sub-genre BD Gothique.

From a financially shaky start Requiem Vampire Knight quickly proved that quality will always find an audience, and Nickel swiftly expanded whilst continuing the excessively adult adventures of deceased warrior Heinrich Augsburg. The series is released as annual albums, and has been serialized in Germany as Requiem Der Vampirritter, and in Heavy Metal in America (beginning in Volume 27 #1, March 2003).

Now Panini have brought this evocative series to Britain in superb oversized, A4 format, double-editions presenting two albums per volume beginning with Resurrection and Danse Macabre.

Heinrich is a German officer killed on the Eastern Front in 1944. As he died all he could think of was his guilt over a doomed affair with the Jewess Rebecca whom he chose not to save when the Gestapo came for her…

He awakens confused, with few memories intact, on the incredible blood-drenched world of Resurrection: a grim, fantastic mirror of Earth with the seas and land-masses reversed, populated by all the monsters of myth and where time runs backwards. In this Hell of constant warfare the sins committed on Earth determine your rank and form. Since Heinrich has been reborn as a Vampire, top of the slaughterers’ heap, his Earthly transgressions must have been truly unforgivable…

Soon he is sent for training and orientation, joining the Vampires Court of Dracula, where all the worst monsters of history rule, becoming embroiled in the eternal warfare and perpetual intrigues. But as time passes and he gets younger, he remembers more of his Earthly life and realises that he has been on Resurrection before… Moreover he has earned the particular enmity of a faction of utterly decadent elite Nosferatu ruled by the sadistic Lady Claudia Demona, Lord Mortis and Baron Samedi…

For any fan of Mills’ work there nothing truly new here to be shocked by, but the liberating license to explore his favourite themes guided only by his own conscience and creative integrity has resulted in a complex, intensely compelling mystery of revenge and regret on the most uncompromising of worlds where there is literally no justice and no good deed ever goes unpunished. Blending cosmic warfare with cynically sardonic deadpan humour, wrapped in the ludicrously OTT trappings of sadomasochistic fetishism, this is a truly epic saga of Gothic hopelessness perfect for the post-punk, post-revisionary, lavishly anti-reductionist fantasy fan. But it’s probably best if you don’t show your gran or the vicar…

The art is utterly astonishing. In places delightfully reminiscent of Philippe Druillet’s startlingly visual and deceptively vast panel-scapes from such lost masterpieces as Yragael: Urm (and there’s another one to chuck on the “must review soon” pile) as well the paradoxically nihilistic energy of such decadent Michael Moorcock civilisations as Granbretan or Melniboné, Ledroit has captured a truly unique scenario with his vibrant palette . Never has the horrific outer darkness been so colourfully captured and the sheer scope of the numerous monsters and spectacular battles is utterly eye-popping.

A grim and witty dream, this is a fabulously realized adult fantasy of blood and thunder that is enthralling and captivating: (Im)Pure Graphic Wonderment!

© 2000, 2001, 2009 Nickel, Mills, Ledroit. All rights Reserved.

Songs of the Black Würm Gism: the Starry Wisdom volume 2


By various, edited by DM Mitchell (Creation Oneiros)
ISBN: 978-902197-28-9

Although (somewhat aptly) borderline to my usual reviewing fare this intriguing and disturbingly adult collection of words and pictures is worth a brief mention, not only because of the stellar crew of contributors but also for the simple reason that it creatively honours the legacy of an author whose works shaped twentieth century horror writing and consequently greatly informed the comicbook continuities of many a publishing giant.

The Starry Wisdom was first published in1995 (with a revised edition in 2003, ISBN: 978-1-84068-087-4) and contained a number of tales inspired by the terrifying visions of H.P. Lovecraft. It included works by Ramsey Campbell, J.G. Ballard, Alan Moore, Brian Lumley and an unholy host of others. Now a second chilling and disturbing volume has been compiled featuring contributions from some of the world’s most individual horror writers and artists.

Enclosed within this tome are 22 features, essays, photo-spreads and stories from Grant Morrison, Aishling Morgan, Herzan Chimera & James Havoc, David Britton & Mike Butterworth, Jacques Dengue, Ian Miller, John Beal, DM Mitchell, Hank Kirton, Jacques Bertrand Houpinière, Frater Erich Zann, Alexandria D. Douros, David Conway, Kenji Siratori, The Reverend Paul Stevens, Claudia Bellocq, Joshua Hayes, Wakamatsu Yukio, Reza Negarestani, Alan Moore and even Lovecraft himself (!).

As you’d expect this is a chilling surreal exploration of the nastiest places in reality – and beyond – so it’s strictly one for grown-up and those minors so debauched and twisted that they are beyond the salvation of good and rational souls. Does that sound like anybody you know?

© 2009 DM Mitchell and individual creators. All rights reserved.

Dark Entries – a John Constantine Novel


By Ian Rankin & Werther Dell’edera (Vertigo Crime/Titan Books Edition)
ISBN: 978-1-84856-342-1

Award-winning – and officially honourable – crime writer Ian Rankin makes a remarkable debut as a graphic novelist in this superbly unsettling horror story starring the best anti-hero in the business. John Constantine, seedy modern magician and consummate bad seed. tends to bring out the best in his writers, and although the plot here is nothing new the treatment of the large cast of characters is a deft juggling act nicely handled, while the narrative set-pieces are gripping and stuffed with good old fashioned creepy tension.

Constantine has acquired a certain reputation in the right circles over the course of his life, so he’s not too suspicious when a sleazy TV producer offers him wads of cash to advise on the latest reality show Dark Entries (I have to admit I loathe the title) wherein six contestants are isolated in a rigged haunted house, competing for big prizes and fully expecting to be scared out of their wits.

Unfortunately what’s terrifying these housemates is nothing the producers and technicians devised but appears to be the real thing.

Quickly inserted into the show as a new contestant Constantine finds himself mired in a diabolical mystery involving the seemingly innocent competitors, and too late realises that he’s fallen for the oldest trap in the world. Stitched up like a kipper, his only chance is to free his companions before he can escape the house and the horrors that built it.

Sharp, gritty and deeply compelling this is a powerful recapitulation of classic horror and murder yarns complete with a sting-in-the tail that will leave the reader breathless and hungry for more.

Viscerally illustrated by Italian artist Werther Dell’edera this black and white hardback is similar in format to the old Paradox Press DC imprint to which gave us A History of Violence and Road to Perdition among other gritty adult thrills. Dark Entries is easily in the same class and would make any reader a very happy – if nervous – fan.

© 2009 DC Comics. All rights reserved.