Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comic Book Reviews

Mister X - The Archives 
Mister X helped to change comic books from the all encompassing days of tights wearing super heroes, white-hatted cowboys and WWII GI’s into something more grown up, more thought provoking, more weird. It’s a tale of a city built to be a utopia but instead sends its inhabitants mad. Part German expressionism, part noir detective tale it follows the mysterious Mr. X, an architect of the madness inducing city, as he tries to right the effect his built environment is having on the populace.
Drawn by a series of artists using pulp film references the stories start out going for the big story. Unfortunately (no fault to the writer Dean Motter) Mr. X did not have a very successful run and was cancelled several times. In this book Motter has attempted to finish the story but it feels slightly rushed. 
God Save the Queen 
A one shot about fairies and drugs. Set in modern London, the story follows Linda, a rebellious teenager, enticed by a mysterious group of hip layabouts she meets at a rave. They introduce to the drug Red Horse which in turn opens up her world to the entities living on the fringes. Based on characters started in Sandman this is a thrilling ride that makes good use of its modern setting and actually portrays modern teens in a realistic light. Written by Mike Carey of ‘Felix Castor’ fame and drawn by the brilliant John Bolton, this adds colour and complexity to the Vertigo world.
Salem Brownstone
This is a beautifully produced and written gothic tale about a young man who’s left a strange house by his estranged father. On entering for the first time he’s attacked by strange creatures and saved by a mysterious attractive contortionist. Taken in by a local circus troupe he soon realises all is not as it seems. 
Drawn like a fin-de-siecle Beardsley and with echoes of Edward Gorey this is a dark, out of this world gothic masterpiece.
30 Days of Night Collectors Set
The three chronicles of the 30 Days of Night Franchise. This has a brilliantly simple premise, the town of Barrow, where the sun sets every year for thirty days thus becoming the perfect hunting ground for vampires.
Unlike the current popular undead (who seem to do nothing but moan about their condition) these vampires are mean and nasty and love nothing better than ripping their prey to bits. It reminds me of The Thing (all that snow). A quick entertaining read.

Read this week:
Mister X - The Archives by Dean Motter & co.
God Save the Queen by Mike Carey & John Bolton
Salem Brownstone by John Harris Dunning & Nikhil Singh
30 Days of Night Collectors Set by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith

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