Titan Comics 2016
Written by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel
Illustrated by Lee Sullivan
Coloured by Luis Guerrero
Lettered by Rob Steen
Peter Grant: policeman, trainee wizard and now pest controller. Joined by fellow officer and Muslim ninja, Sahra Guleed, the two are trying to contain an outbreak of vindictive black mould that seems to be going after the rich and heartless. Investigating, Peter and Sahra discovered a link between the attacks – they had happened in buildings owned and leased by Wellcome Matt properties. With two addresses in hand, Peter managed to choose the one with a spot of hallucinagenic, fear-inducing mould – AND a gang of violent leg-breakers. Peter’s in a tight spot….
Well I have to say that Ben and Andrew do a wonderful mix of good old fashioned police work with the supernatural here. I also really like that the whole deal with the supernatural, in this case the hallucinagenic black mould, doesn’t feel like it’s out of place. There’s a great structuring to the story so that we really get a nice feel that the legwork the two are doing is what leads to Peter being targeted. Also that it’s usually Peter being targeted well that’s just natural after all he’s a trainee wizard after all and does pose the greater threat.
The characterisation here is great and the more we see of these two the more we see how well they play off of one another. As much as Peter does things that continue to surprise me it’s really Sahra that gets me laughing time and again. Her reactions to the situations that they find themselves in whether it’s from her words or through facial expressions she’s an absolute delight to see in action.
The interiors here are very well done. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and even the use of backgrounds do wonders in visually adding to the story. I’ve mention the facial expressions and it’s true they do help with the characterisation greatly and it’s so nice to see this kind of attention spent on them. I’m a huge fan of using backgrounds and that we see them like we do here makes me happy as it really helps to flesh out the panels/scenes so much more.
I’m also very impressed with how the story progresses. With the regular police work of finding the places that have the mould and how it’s found in an unexpected place means the story moves along a great pace. Pacing is crucial so that everything we see means it’s going along so that we don’t see too much of one thing over another and the flow feels natural. The boys have that down really well here.
For me this is wonderful it feels like something I used to watch on television, not so ironically from the BBC. it’s got this blend of MI-6 with Primeval that really does appeal to me in how it’s all told. Interesting, exciting and at time downright humorous this really is a fine read!