Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: Grendel Red, White & Black

Writer: Matt Wagner
Artists: Various
Company: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $19.95

It's been a while since I read this miniseries, and I'd forgotten just how good it is. True, some of the stories are a little hard to follow if you're not already familiar with the Grendel cycle, but some of them stand alone just fine. Looking back at the Hunter Rose and Argent era of Grendel, which has relatively few comics about it, results in a lot of great stories, generally with a crime noir or psychological horror edge. Wagner experiments a little in his writing, with poetry, illustrated text pieces and even illustrated haiku, but the book is at its best when it's Wagner writing a gritty crime story and one of the immensely talented artists illustrating. My favorites are Jill Thompson's "Nasty Lil Devil," Cliff Chiang's illustration of two detectives analyzing a Grendel crime scene, Tom Fowler's tale of a corrupt senator's assassination, Farel Dalrymple's work on "Devil's Retribution," Mike Huddleston's "The Devil's Tide", Zander Cannon's "Devil on the Roof" and John K. Snyder III's "Devil's Sentence," but really there are no bad stories here, and a ton of beautiful art.

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