The Soul of Venice & Other Stories

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84023 931 X
Available 24 September 2004

The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence
(B.P.R.D.) are called upon to investigate mass death in Venice, witch-hunting in New England, not-so-imaginary monsters under the bed and spectral soldiers invading Colorado in these four spooky stories...

The Soul of Venice & Other Stories is another collection based around the B.P.R.D. - the organisation that Hellboy is a member of. While Hellboy himself is absent from these stories (obviously, otherwise they would be Hellboy stories and not B.P.R.D. ones) that doesn't really make these tales any less enjoyable.

The best story, for me anyway, in this collection was There's Something Under My Bed. This takes a sideways look at the old scenario of children being afraid of monsters hiding in their bedrooms and then attacking them in the middle of the night. The art work on this story stood out as perfect for the subject matter - dark and foreboding, yet there were elements of Dr. Suess added in there to make the whole thing appear larger than life.

As with the first volume, you are really going to have to know a little bit of a background to the characters and their role in society, otherwise you might find yourself a little lost.

Pete Boomer

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