Monday, May 01, 2006

Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires

It was inevitable that I'd get to this with how I raved about the first Peculia trade. Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires (also known as Evil Eye #13) is the first book-length adventure featuring the odd, but lovely Peculia, one of the greatest female characters in comics today. Richard Sala is at the top of his game, crafting gothic thrillers like no other in the comics medium. He makes setting mood and atmosphere look effortless and has a seemingly uncanny ability to fold comedy into his horror, using elements from the worst of B horror movies, and making them work in an engrossing story nonetheless. It is quite obvious from the beginning who the vampire in the tale is, and that the band of gypsies will be all-knowing when it comes to the supernatural elements that begin to occur in town. But the fast-paced action keeps you turning page after page until you're suddenly at the end of the eerie tale and longing for more. The story evokes a dread and general creepiness that you just can't find in present-day horror movies and literature, but seems to draw on a source from legend and folklore itself, throwing in old world references to things like hawthorne (a preferred wood to stake vampires with back when European peasants blamed their misfortunes on the recently dead). Richard Sala is where horror is at right now in comics. I dare someone to try and do him better.

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