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The Blackburne Covenant

Story: Nicienza
Drawings: Raffaele
Dark Horse

Joël Paquin

Cool story about an author who wrote a famous book about a witch covenant. The problem is that the book he thought fictional is in fact based on a long forgotten, true story, and that esoteric groups involved in magic want to question him…

He will later find out how he got the book’s ideas. While the end is predictable and thus questionable (with all the new powers he get), the book is a good read. Good quality but seen before drawing.

 

Blade: Black and White

Story: Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont, Christopher Golden, et. al.
Drawings: Tony DeZuniga, Rico Rival, Gene Colan, et. al.
Dark Horse

Steve Miller

In the 1970s, Marvel Comics published one of the finest horror comics series, ever... "Tomb of Dracula." In issue #10 of that series, writer Marv Wolfman added a tough-talking, black vampire-slayer to the line-up of Dracula's enemies--Blade. A rough-and-tumble streetfighter, this character's trademark was a bandoleer of wooden daggers with which he dispatched vampires with unrivaled efficiency and brutality.

A couple years after his initial appearance, Marvel Comics gave Blade his own solo-series in their "mature" black-and-white comics magazines. The series moved from title to title, as Marvel gradually whittled their commercially unsuccesul magazine line down to nothing, but the lack of readership wasn't the fault of the "Blade" series... those pages were some kick-ass vampire tales (in every sense of the phrase).

The main plotline of the stories collected in "Blade: Black and White" was written by Marv Wolfman and Chris Claremont. It sees Blade pitted against an emerging vampire organization that calls itself "The Legion." These vampires have chosen to target Blade where he lives--by killing his friends, his loved ones, and framing him for murder. It's only with the help of Katherine Fraser, a psychic Scotland Yard detective (another 'Tomb of Dracula' supporting castmember, featured mostly in the 'Giant-sized Tomb of Dracula' series') that Blade will even have a prayer of clearing his name.

This storyline occupies about 2/3rds of the book, and it illustrated primarily by the vastly underappreciated Tony DeZuniga, with some assistance from Rico Rival. The illustrations are top-notch, bringing the sort of gritty reality to the proceedings that the Blade character requires.

The collection is rounded with three additional 'Blade' tales. Two are illustrated by Gene Colan--one dates from the 1970s and in it we see Blade for the first time unable to bring himself to kill vampires... and that hestitation may cost him his life! The second tale was a one-shot issue scripted by novelist Christopher Golden that teamed Blade with his old partner, Hannibal King (who, like Blade, is a far better character in his original comic book incarnation that he is in "Blade" flicks) to take on an emerging vampire threat in New Orleans and confront ghosts from their past.

Both tales are great reads, but I think Colan's art has started to degrade a bit. (It doesn't help matteers that the second tale was inked by someone who does't look to be a good match for Colan's pencils.)

Sandwiched between the two Colan-illustrated stories is a pathetic little 14-pager that's got bad art, a bad script, and that doesn't really fit in with anything else that's been printed about the Blade character. Further, the way Blade is presented is closer to the movies than the comics. I recommend skipping that story entirely, or reading it after you've read the rest. (It should be placed in that order anyway, as there's a reference on the very first page to Blade being in New Orleans.)

"Blade: Black and White" is a collection of some fine horror comics (with one noted exception). It also features the real Blade, not the screwed-up Hollywood version. The character here is the one Wolfman was suing over, not the big-screen mockery that's more a vessel for Wesley Snipes' ego than an actual character.

If you like horror comics and vampire tales, I recommend this book. (I'd leave the movies for when you have seen everything else interesting at the videostore. They are but pale reflections of the original source material.)

Four of Five Stars

 

Born

Story: Garth Ennis
Drawings: Darick Robetson, Tim Palmer, Paul Mounts
MAX Comics(a division of Marvel Comics)

Stephen "ScS" Sutton

Who is Frank Castle, really? Why did he become the Punisher? Fans of marvel's most gun-toting hero may think they know the answer, but the truth has been hidden for years. Before a hail of gunfire, before the war on crime, deep in the sweltering jungles of Vietnam, the Punisher was born.

Born is a mini-series of four comic books following the hidden past of Frank Castle, the punisher, as a Marine in the last days of the Vietnam war. A trained black-ops assassin, Frank is posted on the most remote US base where he becomes the last true soldier in an army unwilling to fight. As the war rages around him, Castle battles his inner demons and the dark desires growing within him.

Born is a gruesome portrayal of war at its ugliest, with scenes of brutal violence, hideous death, drug abuse, racism and even rape. Born is a story of damnation, where innocence is snuffed out by a tide of apathy and gunfire. Though never explicit, there are more than a few references to the supernatural as Frank spirals down into his own destruction. The ending of the last book will leave you agape.

To survive, Frank must give into his deadly instincts, but what is the ultimate cost of becoming a killing machine?

 

The Essential Monster of Frankenstein

Story: Gary Friedrich and Doug Moench
Drawings: Mike Ploog, John Buscema, Val Mayerick, et.al.
Marvel Comics

Steve Miller

This mammoth black-and-white reprint volume features some of very best comics plushing by Marvel... and some of the very worst. Basically, the tales within these pages that have Gary Friedrich credited as writer are true gems of comic story-telling, from the fabulous adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, through the inevitable battle between horror gothic horror titans Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster, through the tragic conclusion of the monster's quest to find the Last Frankenstein, the first 12 issues of the Monster of Frankenstein comic book are indeed "essential" reading.

The stories are well-crafted, the 19th century setting refreshing (and particularly fun if you're a lover of Hammer films like me), the characters all interesting, and the illustrations for those tales, primarily by Mike Ploog and John Buscema, are also among some of the finest work those artists ever did. The same is true of the first few reprints featuring Frankenstein's Monster from the pages of Monsters Unleashed. The saga of Frankenstien's Monster is moved into the modern day as an obsessive mad scientist discovers the inert creature in a traveling sideshow and revives him with bizarre and tragic consequences.

The initial stories were written by Gary Friedrich and illustrated by John Buscema, and these, again, are true comic-book classics. But once Friedrich leaves as writer, the quality goes down the drain. With the exception of the final story in this collection, the episodes penned by Doug Moench are just plain awful, with Frankenstien's Monster facing off against a silly secret criminal organization and even sillier by-products of the efforts of modern-day monster-builders. I hate to say that Moench turned in bad work for the series, as he has written some of my favorite comics (Master of Kung-Fu, Six From Sirius, his run on Catwoman), but there is just nothing redeeming about his efforts on the Frankenstien series. (Except the very last story from Legion of Monsters. Moench and the artist he was teamed with on the strip, Val Mayerick, do their only decent work on that one.

All in all, about 1/3rd of this book is trash, but the good parts are really good, and I say it is a worthy addition to any fan of horror comics' bookshelf. Just skip the material that originally appeared in The Frankenstein Monster issues 12-18 and Monsters Unleashed issues 6-9.

Three Out of Five Stars

 

Faction Paradox

Story: Miles
Drawings: Calafiore, Palmiotti
Image comics Mad Norwegian press

Joël Paquin

Interesting story set in the 18th century. The King of England gets gifts from all over the world for a spectacular and exclusive hunt (one of these gifts is a mammoth!). The Americans bring a sorceress from an unknown pacific tribe. She soon evades her prison and is loose in London ….

Meanwhile, the Faction Paradox is an intriguing, esoteric order making representation to the King and said to control time and predict the future…Each issue ends with a gazetteer of the era, and esoteric objects of the Faction Paradox. A must for MotRD IMHO.

Two issues out yet for this intriguing story. I will follow it with curiosity.

 

Hellboy

Writer: Mike Mignola
Dark Horse

Patrick Plouffe (Jonathan Winters)

Here it is, a small review of Hellboy by Mike Mignola. One of the things you have to keep in mind while reading Hellboy is that you are there to have fun. Yes, people die, yes Nazis are present, but in the end you have a good action-packed story in front of you. (And the Nazis usually get what they deserve: A good beating.)

But first, a quick description of the major Hellboy books to those unfamiliar with the character and stories.

  • Book one: Seed of Destruction. This is where we are introduced to Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Defence & Research (BPRD). The mad monk Rasputin and Nazis perform an occult ritual to reverse the outcome of the Second World War. And so, Hellboy is born. But Hellboy is taken in by the Allies and he becomes a good guy.
  • Book two: Wake the Devil. The BPRD has to stop the revival of a Romanian vampire nobleman and Nazis are also trying to bring Rasputin back to life.
  • Book three: The Chained Coffin and Others AND Book four: The Right Hand of Doom
  • Anthologies. Very good stories.
  • Book five: Conqueror Worm. During the last days of World War II, the Nazi space program sent a man to the stars, now sixty years later, the shuttle is coming back…
  • Book six: Strange Places. Hellboy, out on his on after quitting the BPRD, will learn what his hand is made of and where it comes from…

Can you use all this craziness in your Ravenloft game? Oh yes!

Instead of Nazis, use Falkovnia and / or Invidia as your power bases for bad guys. Or if you don't want to involve occult cabals (again? Who knows?), have your bad guys act as scientists from Lamordia trying to get rid of Calibans maybe?

You also see Fairies from time to time in Hellboy: Here is how you can use Tepest and the Shadow Rift.

The BPRD could be a group of misfits / Calibans. Instead of a pyrokinetic, Liz Sherman is a Sorceress trying to learn how to use her powers. Rasputin's schemes could inspire Azalin or the Gentleman Caller. You have a Homunculus as a main character, develop his story from an Alchemical Philosopher in the background. There is a mer-man, a few scholars (Experts, Rogues, Clerics, etc.), Ghost Watchers, etc.

Also, Mignola is a BIG Cthulhu fan. Replace the Cthulhu beings by the Dark Powers or maybe Gwydion. A lot of the stories are inspired by local legends and similar stuff (especially the shorter stories), you can steal ideas for your games here.

I was forgetting to mention the art. Mignola is truly a master of his craft. With just a few lines, he delivers an image you understand right away.

So, if you enjoyed the movie (which I think translated well the spirit of the character minus the love story), you should really appreciate the books (which are even better in my opinion). Since its beginnings, Hellboy has also given birth to limited series of the BPRD, a couple of novels, two short story anthologies and even more.

 


Requiem

Scenario: Mills
Drawing: Ledroit; hardback albums
Nickel Publishing House

Joël Paquin

A series of four comic books as I write this. Unfortunately in French only I think (I never saw an English translation of it and I only find a Dutch version on the net). The story is quite original: the troubled Heinrich was a Nazi during the last war, where he found death. Mourning his Jewish lover, death was a blessing for him. However, instead of finding peace in oblivion, he found himself in the chaotic world of Resurrection, where he found himself to be a vampire in a land where time is reversed. You start to exist in the condition you died (Heinrich has a bullet hole in the forehead), and slowly you get younger and younger (a very old vampire have the body of a child, but he still is wicked and evil).

So Heinrich is a vampire chevalier, fighting zombies and ghouls armies so vampires can remain the leading force of Resurrection and to control black opium supplies (a drug helping the vampires to forget their past). Also, the sad ghost of his Jewish lover haunts and taunts him. Meanwhile, other vampire lords (of which Black Sabbat – the incarnation of A. Crowley) plot for power against all powerful Prince Dracula.

The drawings are also very cool and are the first thing that attracted me to the first book. Ledroit uses only four colors: black, white, grey and red. The vampires are quite cool: white face, black cross on the eyes and cool gothic / bdsm / futurist armors.

While we are loosing the surprise of the discovery in the fourth issue, the scenario brings us to potential surprises and potential cool twists. To be followed.

 


Starman

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Peter Snejbjerg
DC Comics

Patrick Plouffe (Jonathan Winters)

Starman ran for something like 80 issues and a couple of annuals and a Giant-Sized Special. It had to end. Let me rephrase this: It had to end like it did.

To those who do not know it, Starman was a super-hero comic book like few hero books out there. It was about storytelling, which is why I think it fits into a RL review site. James Robinson crafted a story where nothing was arbitrary. If it was there, it was going to mean something, even if it meant waiting 25 issues to find out.

Foreshadowing was used in a very intelligent way. Nothing was spoon fed to the reader. For example, you had an issue titled "City without Light part I" and part II was only given something like ten issues later. You had to keep up as a reader.

Why can you take inspiration from this for RL?

The main character, Jack Knight, is visited by the spirit / ghost / dream of his brother David once a year to talk about being Starman, being a hero, their father (the original Starman) or the future. And you only get to find out why and how at the end of the series.

It was character driven as a story. The super hero fights almost came as an afterthought. And Jack Knight doesn't even have a costume. Everyone in Opal City knows who he is.

Also, you have to love the Shade: a villain who never commits crimes in Opal City, his beloved city. Born in the Victorian age, he is an immortal with a heavy past and ''shadow powers'' (It's scarier and cooler than it sounds.). And he comes with a nemesis.

So does Jack: his father's nemesis' daughter, the new Mist.

It involves Black Magic at one point, sacrifices, a pirate's ghost, the why's and how's of being a hero, a love for a city, but mostly, I think, the love between father and son.

I am pretty sure you can get your hands on the trade paperbacks.

The only bad thing I can say about Starman is that the part where he goes into space (long story) might be the weakest part of the whole series. Which is ironic considering he is called Starman. It's still very good, but just not as good as when Jack is in Opal City.

 

30 Days of Night, Dark Days, Criminal Macabre,
Love me Tenderloin, Return to Barrow

Scenario: Steve Niles
Art: Ben Templesmith;
IDW publishing

Joël Paquin

I’m a fan of these two guys, Niles and Templesmith. They have an amazing sense of what horror comic should be: interesting scenarios with often depressed anti-heroes, and great chilling drawings.

The first thing I read from them is the wonderful 30 days of night (a six issue miniseries, now available in tpb). In it, a small isolated Alaska town (Barrow) each year sees the sun set for about a month and a group of vampires plan a frenzied feeding party for this year … This simple idea is well developed over the book and I do not want to say too much for spoiling your fun if you haven’t read it. The last pages are quite sad…

The only ‘problem’ I see in the scenario is that we see well the events before the sun set, but not enough of what happens during the month. But 30 days of night is going to be a movie soon (Niles is working on the scenario), and I hope we will see more of how a few of the town’s citizen survived during the month (their fears while being hunted, what they did to hide and survive, the monster’s hunting, etc.)…

A word about Templesmith’s drawings. I’ve never saw anything like it in a comic yet. Nothing is drawn with precision and most of the drawings are blurred and in dark colors (black, grey and sick green being 95% of the colors used). For example, the two first pages of 30 days of night are amazing: a police car with lights on, in the dark and snow – a simple blurry drawing, but that expresses darkness, isolation, cold, etc. It suggests enough but leaves all to the imagination, in a Lovecraftian way. Also, the way he draws vampire is quite cool: round mouth, full of teeth, not unlike a shark. Chilling.

Dark Days (a six issue miniseries) is a sequel to 30 days of night. One of the main character of the first series published the book 30 days of night where she explains what happened in Barrow that fateful winter.

Her goal is to make the vampires angry and have them reveal themselves to her, so she could destroy them. She will get help, and often from unexpected persons … A great story of friendship and love mourning. I liked it a lot, perhaps even more then 30 days of night.

The last page of it is stunning and shocking, thanks again to Templesmith’s great drawings.

Criminal macabre is a miniseries (4 issues out as I write this) in another setting then the two first ones. An often intoxicated detective (Cal McDonald) is an expert on the weird night creatures in this word (ghouls, vampire, werewolf, etc.).

Most people do not believe these to be real, including his colleagues, but Cal knows from experience it isn’t just a tale, and one of his friend is a ghoul. Mixing detective mysteries with undead is pretty cool IMHO. A dark sense of humor is present. Not scary as 30 days of night but very good read too.

Love me tenderloin (a one shot issue) is again a Cal Mcdonald story where this time the detective is working in a murder case in a meat processing plant … The end is a little cliché but still a good read. A nice exorcist story.

Those are must read. Really.

In 2004, Niles and Templesmith worked on a 6 issue 30 days of night sequel entitled Return to Barrow. It is very good and surprising: the vampires are back to erase the Alaska town, but this time, the humans are prepared. Reminiscent of Aliens.

An annual issue for 2004 also came out, scenario by Niles, with four illustrators sharing their views on the 30 days of night events.

As I write this, Niles also published five issues of Freaks of the Heartland (illustrated by Greg Ruth), a tale of a shameful rural secret (one of the farmer’s son is a monster hidden from view in the barn). The story develops slowly but it look promising.

I wish those guys could make a Ravenloft adventure comic … It would be grand to see Strahd drawn by Templesmith!

 

The Tomb of Dracula

Marvel Comics

Joël Paquin

Marvel has re-released in inexpensive tpb form the 25 first issues of the old Tomb of Dracula series, who had a great success in the early 70's. In fact, I remember buying a couple of issues when they went out during that decade and I found them soooo cool (I was 12 or 13).

Ahem.

I have to say I had fun reading these first issues again, but probably not in the way the authors wanted to :). I'm a comic fan. I always did, always will. I have hundreds of them. So for me it was interesting to read the grandfather of most modern horror comics. Let's say the style and scenario have improved since that era (Thank God or I'm not sure I would be a comic fan)! In fact, the Tomb of Dracula series is quite similar to most 50's pulp fictions I've seen. A few funny notes on the thing:

The Dracula character has got a classic horror look: he's often standing with the tell tale cape held open by his arms, to look bat-like. He's got a small narrow mustache (a tribute to C. Lee ?), pointed ears and eyebrow and his fangs are always out. Dracula also got a wisdom of 7, in D&D terms: about half of what he says are lines like "You helpless fool! you dared track me to my lair .. and here you'll die!" or "Back, Swine! Before you arouse the wrath of Dracula!" (bold is in the text, by the way).

The story has many inconsistencies and continuity problems. In the first issue, the heroes release Dracula by removing the wooden stake in his coffin, after "he's slept hundred years". Later, a vampire killer (Blade, yes I found in this book that the Blade character was created in these issues) seeks him because he killed his mom about ten years ago :).

Or in one issue, Dracula is presented a cross and that makes him powerless, unable to change to bat form and flee. In another issue (published just a couple of months later), someone finds Dracula's inanimate body and brings him to the local church to cure him, believing his is a man fell by sickness or alcohol. Well, the first thing Dracula does when awake and sees the crucifix ? He change into a bat!

It also got naive scenario, compared to what we see to day in comic books. Blinded by revenge, he's often building complex plot to kill his human pursuers, while he could just have killed them quickly with his powerful abilities (he can switch to mists or bat form instantaneously). But most classic villains have a wisdom of 7 in these books, I guess.

There are many bad (or naive) scenario construction like the following: in a crypt, the human heroes see Dracula and one of his vampire female minion about to feed on a women they know. While pointing his crossbow at Dracula, the hero has time to say "This time, you won't get away, Dracula! For now, at long last, you are going to die!"before Dracula has time to switch to mists. Instead, Dracula grab her minion in front of him, to protect him with her body (instead of turning to mists instantaneously like he always does). Then we see the hero's finger on his crossbow while he say "He's swinging the woman into my line of fire and it's too late to stop my trigger finger!" Charming retarded heroes, IMHO.

That said, it's still enjoyable and funny to read, to see where classic horror comics come from, and to appreciate the huge steps made since then in the comic industry.

 

The Walking Dead

Volume One; Days Gone Bye

Robert Kirkman writer, Tony Moore artist
Image comics

Stephen "ScS" Sutton

In the introduction to the trade, Robert Kirkman writes "Give me "Dawn of the Dead" over "Return of the Living Dead" any day." Right away he sets the stage for his work, The Walking Dead. This graphic novel is a thinking man's zombie movie, a story of social commentary and survival, similar to the Romero flicks that spawned the plague of zombies that haunts our world today.

The story of the Walking Dead centers around Rick Grimes, former state trooper. In a beginning reminiscent of 28 Days Latter, Rick awakes from a coma in a deserted hospital. Quickly he learns that things are horribly wrong; the dead walk the earth. After some rough introductions, Rick meets some survivors and hears the whole grim story. Ever the optimist, he begins a trek to Atlanta in hopes of finding his wife and son.

Though by no means a gore fest, the Walking Dead delivers enough blood splatters and bone splinters to keep the most rabid zombie hunter happy. There are some truly excellent scenes, such as Rick's ride (yes, I said ride, as in on a horse) into Atlanta, or when he stumbles onto the remains of the last stand the army made against the dead. In truth, the Walking Dead is a survivalist drama, with the zombies interspaced to keep the action quotient.

Kirkman tells us that The Walking Dead is a story about the progression of characters, the evolution of these individuals under the crisis circumstance. Unfortunately, at this early stage of the game there's no growth to be seen. We see characters who are mean, generous, passive, violent, paranoid and trusting; yet all the while we must wonder, were these characters like this before the fall? The more we learn about these characters, the more we learn that these traits were always part of them.

Grimes is a cheery, optimistic all-American hero; he shoots guns, wears a cowboy hat, rides a horse and doesn't even think twice about handing a small child a firearm. Despite all of the craziness around him he never gives up hope and never questions the loyalty of his friends, despite all forewarnings. Fortunately, the other characters are much more dark, complex and realistic. While Rick may be a corn-fed, country fried, 1950's style character (did I mention the cowboy hat?), he is also the pure white canvas against which we see a vivid collage of black and red. The darkness only looms so menacingly against the brightness of this protagonist; Grimes is the flawless lens through which we see the whole horror of Kirkman's nightmare world. Besides, his priceless facial expressions are worth the corniness any day.

The book itself is in black and white, and the art is proficient. The price can't be beat - a paltry $2.95, $3.59 Canadian for an issue, and the trade itself only cost 9.95 American for the first 6 issues.

In summary, The Walking Dead is a fine survivalist story in the true Romero tradition. Though the characters could stand to see more development, its still early in the story (only 8 issues). The Walking Dead promises to be a great addition to the Zombie legacy, as well as any reader's collection.

 

From Hell

Story: Alan Moore
Drawings: Eddie Campbell
Delcourt (for the French edition)

Joël Paquin

First, let me say I could not care less about solving the Jack the Ripper mystery. For me, it is quite impossible now in the 21st century to solve a 19th century mystery (unless we find a diary of the ‘yes it’s me who did it’ or ‘I know who did it, it is …’ type). Seriously, all actors of the drama are in the cemetery for a century now, and all investigable traces are gone, erased by time’s powerful grinder. I will never read Patricia Cornwell’s new essay on the question, as it doesn’t interest me at all.

However, the Moore interpretation of the Jack Ripper mythos is quite fascinating, not as a possible way to solve the Ripper puzzle, but more importantly, as a good story by itself.

First, the drawings are simple, but very efficient in transmitting angst and fear of the dark. The drawings are black and white only (with a lot of black), and quite scratchy, like Jack’s knife. The murder scenes are ghastly.

The story is quite good. And it’s a long one (nearly 600 pages for the French edition I have)! Alan Moores believes that Prince Albert had a secret illegitimate child, and that fact was known by four prostitutes. As they try to bribe him with that potentially shameful knowledge, they were killed by Gull, the court’s doctor.

The character development is built slowly but makes you keep reading the book. This Gull character is quite fascinating: quite mad and prone to delirium. He does this ‘job’ with an evil passion. His superior are quit concerned about his fanatic Freemason delirium in that commanded murder task.

There is a cool appearance by the "Elephant Man", by the way.

The end notes are amazing and shows the huge work made by Moore to unearth the gloomy Victorian past in the most precise fashion. Also, his passion of the case is astounding and many scenes of “From Hell” are painfully and rigorously exact in all details.

The second appendix is quite funny: Moore presents with dark humor the story of the Ripper case, with all popular theories to solve the mystery, however weird.

All in all, a great book. A MUST read for MotRD fans!

Caution: explicit sex and gore scenes!

 
 

Uzumaki, Vols 1-3

Story and Art: Junji Ito
English-language editions: Viz

Steve Miller

Horror comics are virtually impossible to do well. Most are either silly monster stories or are simply tales with twist endings ala "Tales from the Crypt" or the original "House of Mystery." Few are ever actually SCARY the way a well-made horror film or a well-crafted horror novel or short story is.

This three-volume graphic novel series is an exception to that general rule. In "Uzumaki," creator Junji Ito has taken what seems on the face of it to be goofy--a town cursed by evil spirals that are driving the population insane--and turned it into a vehicle for comic books that deliver genuine chills.

An example of the masterful execution of this book is when the narrator and her boyfriend are sitting in a doctor's office with the boyfriend's mother, who has become obsessed with removing all spirals from her body--fingerprints are spirals, so they must be removed; her hair curls, so it must be removed--and they spot an anatomy chart that shows a person's inner ear... and the spiral it contains. The reader actually shares the shock and horror of the characters as they try to make sure the insane woman doesn't see the chart and then proceed to attempt to tear out her inner ear. It's an exceptionally well-done bit of graphic storytelling.

I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of horror. I even recommend it if you're the kind of person who claims to hate Japanese comics. Ito's style shows only a few of the "stereotypical" manga elements and actually put me in mind of a number of Italian and English comic book artists who specialize in romance or sci-fi comics during the Seventies and Eighties.

 

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