Headless Shakespeare Press 2021
Written by Craig Hurd-McKenney
Illustrated by Peter Gross & Vince Locke
All Lettered by Lucas Gattoni
Short Stories by
Melisa Jones, Keni Thomas, Lauren Franklin, David Aguado
Kameron White, G. Romero Johnson & Michael W. Conrad
With a break in the action, Prescott, Delilah and the Comtesse gather ‘round the hearth to share the Victorian Christmas tradition of ghost stories with each other. As the stories unfold, each crafted by a different comics creator, the night builds to the biggest shock of all…!
This is an anthology series and I have to say it’s put together in a really good, strong way that holds the readers’ interest and manages to actually use the short story format in a way where each vignette is done so that it is not only complete but it doesn’t make feel the desire to see more of it. This is a good thing, it’s a complete story and it serves its purpose extremely well and it’s the frame story that really holds it all together and is the one that we want to see and know more of. This is why I enjoy what I do, because this was sent to me with a request for a review and I’m glad that it was because I really enjoyed this.
I am very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceedingly well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a fantastic job fleshing out their personality. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story in a fascinating manner.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow is extremely well done. The short stories are related to the group's conversation and the way that these evolve from the first to the second is exceptionally well thought out and executed. How all of this adds such great depth, dimension and complexity to the story is extremely nice to see. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is exceedingly well rendered.
Now the interiors are a little more tricky to talk about because there are so many vignettes. There are EIGHT artists working on this issue so i’m going to keep this as simple as I possibly can and to that end i’ll say the mini stories will be subjective to the reader and that is just normal. I’m going to talk about the Frame Story interiors. I absolutely adore the frame story interiors and how we see the linework and its varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail within the work is astonishing. That we see backgrounds throughout the book is phenomenal as they enhance and expand the moments. They also work well within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. I love that this is in black and white because this really shows flaws if there are any, spoiler there aren’t.
I love what I do and this is one of those very reasons why. These are the types of books you find at conventions in small press or artists alley and fall in love with. This was funded by kickstarter so you really should be checking that out for some great books. This will be available through Diamond in October or you can go to hspcomix.com and I really encourage you to check this out.