Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I've finally gotten around to consuming a book I've been anticipating reading for awhile now, Richard Sala's Peculia. I loved Sala's The Chuckling Whatsit, so this collection of his Evil Eye comics (#'s 1-9, plus a special color chapter made exclusively for the trade) was on the top of my list. I love Richard Sala's sensibilities, how he uses gothic conventions and gives them a silly/fun tone. And his unique art style is really beautiful, particularly how he shades with horizontal lines and provides a perfectly dark, unsettling atmosphere for his stories (and uses any excuse for a little T&A). Richard Sala is just a master at what he does. Almost immediately we know exactly who our protagonist Peculia is as, instead of a bird coming to greet our beautiful blonde heroine, a bat flutters down to this raven-haired beauty, to which she puts out her hand and says "Oh! Hello, little bat! Out kind of early, aren't you?" She is really one of the best female characters I've stumbled across in comics in awhile. Basically, this trade is a series of short stories, following Peculia on her adventures as her amazing butler watches out for her and the masked Justine tries to apprehend her for the mysterious Obscurus (who has a history with Peculia and is in reality watching out for her). My favorite of the stories entitled "Wayfarer's Inn," follows Peculia as she is forced into the Black Witch Wood by Justine and comes upon a quaint little inn, whose occupants are being stalked by Death. There is even a completely silent chapter toward the middle of the book called "Nightcrawler." Chalk-full of zombies, witches and monsters running amock, this little number is sure to satisfy any number of cravings any gothic/horror lover may harbor.