A recent release from Mad Robot Comics through Kickstarter takes a look at the occult edges of Victorian London so it was well worth a look already.
The titular book store owner Donald Arthur Saxon, has his store located in an up & coming part of town but in the meantime business is much slower than he had been hoping. That being said, it does mean that his reputation and skillset outwith that of a mere bookseller can build up a buzz with the right people and the arrival wealthy young Widow Mrs Thompson, he’s soon heading to her mansion to help her with a problem.
That problem is very specific as she is sure there’s a ghost or ghosts in her and around her home since the passing of her husband but there’s not many around that believe what they perceive to be “her ramblings”. Mr Saxon’s knowledge and experience in this area seems to be uncanny but as we gradually get to see how it is he is able to straddle the divide between the living and the dead we can see that he has much more to offer in combating the world of the paranormal than we would have first expected.
Ash Deadman has a slick story on his hands here and the layers he builds up on each character help builds a world before you’ve even realized that he’s got you hooked. Mixing together the likes of old school Sherlock Holmes and Ghostbusters seems like a crazy idea but in his hands it all fits together nicely. That combination of worlds is given an energy and historical vibe thanks to the amazing Gustaffo Vargas who captures details in surroundings & characters so well that you can almost smell the world that’s been created. Similarly, the colour palette gives everything the moody feeling that they need to capture the living and the dead with an equal slice of authenticity that takes everything up a level. Sliding in to complete the creative team is Rob Jones with his typically well controlled lettering and Mad Robot Comics main man Matt Hardy to edit the opener with a wealth of comic creating knowledge.
As creative teams go, it’s hard to find such a well-oiled machine and with the dark & light elements being given the power and depth they need from the beginning this feels like one of those books that nestles on you pull-list desperately waiting for the next issue to hit. That’s in part due to how well the whole concept works and partly because the there’s a creative swagger to another Mad Robot Comics book that feels more mainstream than indie. Roll on issue #2.
Check out this over on Matt’s website and check in with each of the creative team on the links below: