Black Crown/IDW Publishing 2017
Written by Peter Milligan
Illustrated by Tess Fowler
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Colour Flats by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
As loyal and surprisingly complex chambermaid Ottla searches for Kid—who's been dragged away by Big Daddy—she's gripped by a tragic memory. What unspeakable things was she forced to do to fulfill Big Daddy's King Lear fantasies? Is the Suites playing its weird tricks? Will Kid have a drill shoved into his head? Why is Cordelia getting fat? Find out this and more in the cracked looking glass Shakespearean tragedy that is "A Lad Insane, Part Four: The Chambermaid's Tale."
Well we’re only four issues in and already there’s been an insane amount of story thrown at us and not for one moment am I complaining about it. Somehow this irreverent sarcastic and totally off the wall out there twilight zone kind of madness seeps into your bones and you are happy that it has. This has one of those inexplicable qualities to it that seems to mesmerise the reader while stimulating the pleasure centre of the brain. Peter does that and he does better than anyone around and that is why this is something you cannot escape from.
Also it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at one of the supporting cast here. They play important roles in Kid’s life and I think I might have started with someone else but Ottla is a great one to focus on. So a poor illegal immigrant from Czechoslovakia comes to work as a chambermaid for the Suites and Big Daddy. As Peter takes through a little snippet of her time at the Suites near the beginning of her employment we get to see a young woman, determined, smart and her circumstances in being there in the first place.
I am enjoying the way this book is structured immensely. Peter can create and ebb & flow like a lazy riverboat going down the water in the middle of the Sahara. Put in the characterisation and a young kid and you’ve got everything you need to know about Ottla and yet learn nothing about her at all. This is absolutely freaking incredible storytelling to be able to tell us of a young girl and inclusion to a family like this one well it’s beyond my expectations. Our favourite changeling, shape shifter, in the spotlight in what is the first among the non-family members gracing these pages for me is a bone fide success.
I am a fan of the work on the interiors by Tess, Lee and Dee. I want more backgrounds we all know that and why because when we see them they add that certain air to the story that’s missing when they aren’t used and that’s that. The way page layouts are done so we can see the angles and perspective show a great eye for storytelling. I love the creativity and imagination we get to see here too because wow there are some thing you never expect to see, like sushi pajama’s.
The way this book goes through it’s pages and how we see the story develop, advance and weave throughout with the kind of characterisation Peter brings is astonishingly good stuff. Also the turn of events when we see with Big Daddy and Big Momma well I have admit that surprised the crap out of me and I hadn’t thought anything about this would shock me any more. Then hello Gervais for the win at the end.
I will say this much it’s like The Addams Family meets Soap in this deliciously raucous affair!