Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ten Books To Read For Halloween: #9

Some books I've been meaning to read that could have potentially made this countdown are the aforementioned Black Hole, as well as Warren Ellis' Atmospherics, Ghost of Hoppers and Full Moon Fever. I passed on titles such as Blood + Water and Nightside when going through my back issues. It's a shame that some of the good stuff isn't collected in trades, like something coming up later in the list. This next one, however, was collected, albeit overlooked when it was.
9. Skinwalker from Oni Press, written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, art by Brian Hurtt and Arthur Dela Cruz.
A body is found on a Navajo Indian reservation, completely skinned, after the navajo boy had several calls by a federal agent. The boy had been interested in books on skinwalking, on wearing the skins of animals to become those animals after a ritual. He'd even stolen sacred books on the subject. And now it seems that someone is wearing human skins, leaving a bloody trail in his wake. Since the body is discovered on an Indian reservation, the reservation police are on the case, but since it involves a government agent, so are the FBI. There's a lot of racial tension throughout this book, a lot of situations that come up that make the reader feel uncomfortable because white men really do the shitty things this book showcases. Particularly in a situation where the killer can be anybody, the trust is completely disintegrated, especially between races. But Skinwalker is also a fun thriller besides. It's the closest thing on the countdown to The X-Files, in fact showing quite a bit of influence from the show, as Officer Adakai of the reservation police in an astute believer in the powers of her ancestors, and Agent Haworth of the FBI has to believe in another possibility. Oh, but there's a conspiracy beneath it all and plenty of twists just to keep you on the edge of your seat. So, no real monsters involved in this one, except the kind that's most like us.

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