April 27, 2023

HAUNTED CITY (Comic book review)

This book was a submission, and it’s hard to get a good flavor for a single issue of a comic–particularly when you’re sent only issue #2.  but from what I gather, in #1 I missed the exposition of the concept: NYCPD Tom Whalen got shot in the head and now is protecting new York from an Irish death Goddess, a ghost, and various other things that go bump in the night. and merciless criminals who, of course, are as scary as anything supernatural. and we’re in the middle of a race riot in Harlem. and there’s some corrupt cops.

There’s an terrible lot going on in Chap Taylor, Peter Johnson, and Michael Ryan’s book, on Aspen Press, not the least of which is the art. Ryan has a fantastic ability to make humans look “real” and “real creepy” at the same time, mostly by spending time on faces. Faces are something too numerous comic artists disregard or hide in shadow. but there’s very little shadow in Ryan’s work. and yet, he can still do horror. quite good.

It’s hard to get a sense of the writing from this one issue, particularly because the concept is so rich and the plot develops at a pretty breakneck pace. Not that I’m complaining: You’re pretty much in and running from page one, never slowing down.