Tuesday, 24 April 2012

White Knuckle review

Okay, I’ll try to get through this review without it turning into some kind back slapping exercise.
We’ve been falling far behind with our reviews of late, so have missed out entirely on reviewing Cy Dethan’s previous two books: The Indifference Engine and Broadcast.
So, briefly: they’re both awesome and you need to buy them.
You may remember our review of Slaughterman’s Creed a while ago, which was a taught, frightening thriller that really deserves to be a movie.
White Knuckle is the story of Seth Rigal, a ‘retired’ serial killer, who is living his life out in more or less quite seclusion, or at least as close to normal as it is possible to get for a former strangler. However, events take a turn – whether these are for the better or the worse is up for debate – and he finds his quite life is no longer as quiet as he wants it to be.
As always, Dethan has populated the story with a believable cast of characters. The dialogue is authentic – even characters with only one or two lines come across as fully rounded and real.
As he did with Slaughterman’s Creed, he uses flashbacks to flesh out the story and add pathos to scenes – this is helped in no small measure by the art (more of that soon).
I’m reluctant to talk too much about the story, but I will say it’s a perfectly paced slow burn as events gradually escalate into, well, the ending. Which I will not talk about either, save to say that it, too, is perfect. And annoying, in a good way, as I really should have saw it coming, but such is the skill of Dethan that I did not.

Now, on to the art. Valia Kapadai is quite wonderful. I was lucky enough to meet her briefly at the Bristol Convention a year or two back, and I must say that there is a certain level of dissonance to be found in the bloody and violent images she beautifully reproduces and her own gentle and sweet self!
She has created an impressive body of work here, with page after page of glorious, fully painted, work. It’s a mind-boggling amount of pages to paint, and the fact that she has not only done it, but maintained a very high quality of art throughout, is a testament to her skill.
So, as I said with Slaughterman’s Creed – this should be a movie, or at the very least a TV mini-series.
Never mind your Scalped or whatever other US thriller type comics you’re reading. You should be reading this, and everything else this writer puts out. He’s probably the best kept secret in British Comics, and if I had my way, he would be a secret no longer.
Buy this.

White Knuckle is published by Markosia

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