Ahoy Comics 2018
Written by Mark Russell & Tom Peyer
Illustrated by Fred Harper & Peter Snejbjerg
Coloured by Michael Garland
Lettered by Rob Steen
Extras by Carly Wright, Cienna Madrid & Hunt Emerson
Famous author/day drunk EDGAR ALLAN POE introduces tales of suspense, shock, & disgust! Some are adapted from his own stories, others from his fellow dwellers in the public domain. All are presented in vile and lurid comics form!
Ahoy has burst onto the scene and are putting a wide, see diverse, variety of books in the four that have been released thus far. These are veterans of the industry and they know what they are doing so it really comes as no surprise how enjoyable everything has and continues to be. I had some trepidation about this book as I had no idea how they would take him on. However this here was absolutely hysterical to me and that was not what I had expected. When you think of Poe automatically The Raven comes to mind and those dark and dreary poems and short stories so that this is slightly off centre is a huge bonus for me.
The opening is utterly sensational in my humble opinion. The fact that Poe was a drunk and had Syphilis at such an advanced stage, oh let’s be real here that’s a more likely scenario than not since it was all over the place and there were no treatments or cure so everyone seemed to have it, is spot on. They all drank right how much is too much? Depends on the person and why they are drinking to begin with ask Hemingway. Still this does a lot to de-romanticise this time period and it works extremely well.
Oh M. Valdemar is the first story Poe introduces. He is an acclaimed Danish pastry chef with a very bad cough. I like the story it’s got all the goodies as we see pride, greed, envy and Wrath heh oh the Christians and their made up ways of keeping people in line do make for some of the most interesting reading. Plus when one makes a deal with the devil you must pay the price when it’s due or well something inglorious will happen. Should we really take delight in something like this, well yes darlings we should though be careful lest it finds it's way to you.
The second major tale here is a pure flight of fancy and it is the most interesting and utterly ridiculously fun stories I have had the pleasure to read. The writing is amazing, the characterisation is impeccable and honestly all the choices in who is used well let’s just say this is something I personally would love to see continue. An ongoing 6-8 page serial every month depicting the lives, loves and loss of these individuals as they change, grow, evolve or die. Yeah oh my stars and garters yes please!
The interiors are as varied as the writers stories. Still the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows some talented eyes for storytelling. Backgrounds are utilised here and there some better than others but overall nothing about the interiors of this book should be at all changed. The linework is used beautifully throughout there is some very nice attention to detail happening and the mood, tone and feel of each segment is expertly shown through the use of the colours.
Anthology style books aren’t seen so much in comics these days and perhaps it is time to change that. Do them, well, and promote them as they give us a chance to see, meet, new creators and be entertained in ways that make the reader feel happy. Sometimes a story only needs to be 6-8 or 10-12 pages long to be told and from what I am seeing here these fine folks know exactly what they are doing. This is fun, interesting, odd and slightly creepy but all of it draws the reader in, keeps their attention and leaves them wanting more.