Vital Publishing will be releasing two new titles at this weekends Edinburgh Comic Con and I was lucky enough to get an advanced look at both.
After loving the opening issue of this spy thriller it looks like John Farman is continuing to build this story into an ever-more complex and intriguing tour de force. The world-spanning plot is still weaving its many threads and while this initially felt like it was holding back on the action compared to that first issue there’s a definite sense of things escalating near the end of the book. The roster of characters grows as quickly as the locations on view and I’m loving the Bond style mixed with the Bourne mentality.
John teams up with Stref as he picks up the reigns for the art and ensures that the visuals are seamless when compared to what’s gone before. Energetic in the action and suspenseful the rest of the time it blends well with the plot and keeps the solid momentum on the go until the finale where there’s double-crossing on the go as missions merge with other missions.
This second issue expands on the success of the opener and highlights just how good Vital’s venture into another genre has been. Slick & stylish but with an undoubted substance behind it to back that all up.
Tales of the Damned #3
John Farman eases into the second part of this 3-part arc with a new challenge for monster hunter Julia Bronte to tackle. While she’s picked up some allies along the way she then meets up with some strangers in the woods that bring her a new fight and it’s still got that familiar crackle of a classic black & white movie about it. John’s revelling in bringing a new chapter to his story and it’s paced just right as it flips between the present and ancient Egypt.
He’s joined by Anna Francesca Schiraldi on art for this release and the detail she pours onto the pages is amazing. The campfire scenes in the forest have a definite feeling of claustrophobia as the atmosphere builds and the flashbacks to the days of Pharaoh’s in Egypt have that typically grand scale that you’d expect – which all comes as a great contrast between the two main elements of the story.
I guess the difference with this issue is my own familiarity with stories of the Mummy’s curse having seen it all from Bela Lugosi to Bubba Ho-Tep and that probably took a bit of the shine off this for me. Not that this new issue doesn’t help the story along or anything, it’s just that it left me feeling like this story was less fresh than what we saw in issue #2. That being said, John’s passion for this particular story comes across in the elements he adds into the world around Julia and that becomes infectious over the course of the book. A solid story and amazing art are a great combination so this still left me hoping to get a look at issue #4 as soon as possible.