seen it all, done it all... shot, stabbed, killed, maimed,
drank, snorted and smoked it all. Yet nothing he could injure
or digest could prepare this occult private detective for
the unimaginable weirdness that confronts him when he's called
to investigate a local vampire sighting, and finds himself
in the middle of a monster summit. Never in the history of
the weird have monsters willingly joined forces before, which
signals to Cal that something big and nasty is brewing...
no!" I hear you cry. "That's all this industry needs.
Another monster slayer graphic novel!" You'd be extremely
naive, not to mention wrong, if you still hold that view after
reading Criminal Macabre.
Niles's warped mind creates an instant anti-hero in the form
of the no-nonsense McDonald. Ben Templesmith's art is refreshingly
childlike one moment and graphically disturbing the next.
I also loved the way he frames his art in an almost cinematic
style - there are a few great panels that have a blurry edge
to them, suggesting a zoom lens has been used.
loved the way Niles plays with the myth of demons. In McDonald's
world werewolves, vampires and ghouls can all be blown into
the middle of next week by any weapon that can also bring
down a normal human. These creatures don't have special powers,
they don't freak out near garlic, and they don't hunt in packs.
Of course, all these conventions that are known to McDonald
are quickly blown out of the water as the original mythological
monsters rise from the grave once again.
collection explains why demons of modern times are not as
powerful as they were back in the days of the Bubonic Plague
- although I'm not sure a tire iron would have the same impact
as a cross. Isn't the whole cross and holy water thing supposed
to be that they are religious symbols? Would a tire iron really
have the same impact? Mind you, I suppose it has worked with
bits of wood or crossed fingers in the movies, so maybe it
does work with anything that resembles a cross. Does that
mean that they can't go near crossroads, fences with a criss
cross pattern, or old ladies that are doing cross-stitch?
in all seriousness, in an age where the likes of Buffy
and Angel have saturated the market with their teenage
tales of monster slaying, Criminal Macabre breathes
new life into a near-dead genre.
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