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James

A Sickness in the Family

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So! In the back of Hellblazer: City of Demons 1 there's a preview of the next Vertigo Crime OGN, Denise Mina's A Sickness in the Family. Has anyone read the preview? Anyone intrigued?

 

There's not a lot to go on, storywise - a grisly murder/suicide shatters a family, by the looks of things - but Mina's dialogue and monologue are excellent and the setup looks solid. Her Hellblazer run was pretty dismal, but having read her novels I suspect that was more the fault of her unfamiliarity with the medium and a lack of support from editorial than anything else. A self-contained graphic novel will hopefully play closer to her strengths.

 

The art, though... it's by someone called Antonio Fuso, but looks so much like Jock's work that I actually checked the credits three times to make sure I hadn't missed some mention of him. Like Jock, then, but minus the clear storytelling, interesting layouts and cool details. And the lettering's weird - all stiff and uncomfortable, like an amateur's stuck in the first font they could find on their PC. It's not easy on the eye.

 

Still! Lovely Lee Bermejo cover. It could go either way, but as soon as I've got my own place I'm going to start snapping up trades in earnest, and this will be one of them. Who's in?

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I'm a fan of her novels, and probably fonder of her Hellblazer run than most here (apart from that terroristy one-shot, of course - that was absolute poo), but I really wasn't taken with the preview. Partly the uninspiring art (something of a theme in these books, it seems) and offputting lettering, but the writing seemed a bit flat as well.

 

I'll probably pick it up sooner or later, but not at the list price, and not in a hurry.

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I always have time for Mina. The writing wasn't the problem with her HB run, but rather two things: The plotting of the overall arc, and the clunky shift in tone halfway through the arc, from menacing world-threatening gloom to goofy over-the-top satire. Good editing would definitely have helped.

 

Not a huge fan of the art in the preview, but I'll pick it up anyway.

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Got it for a few quid off, and it's decent enough. Builds a rather disturbing atmosphere nicely, but the big reveal doesn't quite work, and the final twist really doesn't - in both cases, maybe more the fault of the art than the scripting. Still a good little read for a dark afternoon - there's more to like here than Dark Entries, the only other of the line I've read.

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I quite liked Dark entries, so now I'm definitely picking it up.

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