Dark Horse Book of the Dead

Dark Horse Book of the Dead 

By Various (Dark Horse Books)
ISBN: 1-59307-281-0

The mystery compilation from the “Book of…” series features tales of Zombies and living dead men produced by a decidedly superior collection of creators. Kelly Jones covers familiar territory in his mountain man tale of ‘The Hungry Ghosts’ and Mike Mignola provides a wonderful new Hellboy short, ‘The Ghoul’.

‘Old Garfield’s Heart’ is a Robert E Howard prose vignette illustrated by Gary Gianni, followed by ‘The Ditch’ from David Crouse and Todd Herman. Bob Fingerman and Roger Langridge lighten the mood if not the tone with ‘Death Boy’, Eric (The Goon) Powell provides the uncharacteristically sombre and oppressive ‘Wallace Expedition’ and the quirky ‘Queen of Darkness’ comes courtesy of Pat McEown.

Jamie S Rich and Guy Davis concoct a haunting tale of feudal Japan in ‘Kago No Tori’ whilst Editor Scott Allie and artists Paul Lee and Brian Horton’s Devil’s Footprint series is represented by ‘The Magicians’.

The unquestioned star of this volume is saved for last as Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson steal the show with the superb ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’, a chilling and beautiful tale of household pets that has horror aplenty, yet remembers that sadness can be just as crushing as terror.

As anthologies go, horror and mystery are always a safe bet and should serve as a vehicle for pulling resistant readers into our world of comics. When they can be this diverse and still maintain a high level of quality throughout they should be mandatory for any proselytizing fan.

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