Story by Paul Cornell and Art by Ryan Kelly
A comic about aliens? Score one point. A comic by dark publisher Vertigo? Score an additional point. Helmed by Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Demon Knights), the comic opens with a possible abduction leaving the Governer of New Mexico and her ex-husband with a nose bleed the night before she decides to campaign for President. She, Arcadia Alvarado, has a meeting with a Republican strategist who wants to cloak all of her trials and tribulations in the velvety words of a politician in order to swing new votes. She is hesitant but eventually agrees to hire her. Weary, she goes home and showers, fearful of shadows that look like your standard Grey (big headed, big eyed greenish gray aliens) and collapses into a fitful sleep. Her dreams have her wandering through a museum, guided by a bald man in a suit, asking questions about where jars with fetuses go. She wakes up bleeding from her crotch and comes to the conclusion that she’s been raped. As she prepares for her speech announcing her candidacy, she realizes that’s not the case and puts all the strange clues together: she’s been abducted and they’re coming for everyone. There is another character’s story being told here as well. Professor of Modern Folklore, Joshua Kidd, wavering on the line of sane and insanity, is facing some issues from his superiors about a book he’s written on alien abduction. They don’t feel a professor should believe such theories and as Kidd struggles to convince them of his sanity, he hallucinates a miniature couple standing by his feet. Needless to say, Professor Kidd is suspended until further notice so he conversates with the imaginary couple about their origins.
I think the art could be better. I was chilled at the sight of the aliens but I’m not a fan of how Kelly draws faces. It might have worked better on Northlanders but I’m of the mind that someone else could do a bit better.
Overall, a great sci-fi horror story to pick up. Give it a whirl, let me know what you think!
Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child
Story by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds and Art by Denys Cowan
This is a comic set in New Orleans four months after Katrina. As I began reading, I noticed the really great wordplay involved in the story telling. Phrases like “the wax-doll’s face of the drowned” really drove home certain panels and let you feel the desperation of the main character, Dominique. She is one of several survivors and is currently being chased by a werewolf looking monster while out gathering supplies to re-fortify the home they’ve made their base. As she escapes by unknowingly conjuring up snakes to attack the wolf thing, she meets up with a fellow survivor (maybe boyfriend?) named Allan who moments after comforting her gets into a shootout. It’s at this moment, my like for this comic begins to wane. Dominique goes from being eloquent to ghetto. As I ponder the change, a new character is introduced, Chancellor Malenfant (literal translation: bad child. Chancellor Bad Child) who is intent on restoring order. The Chancellor speaks of a pure vessel with his minion and they walk to another room in his Quarter mansion which is housing a voodoo ritual so the chancellor can speak with Lord Ogun, occupying the body of a young Creole. Lord Ogun speaks of a child, spawn of his “most-hated Kalfu and child of my Marie.” The chancellor insist he has every person searching for her and the scene switches to Dominique praying to the tomb of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. She is gifted with a vision of the fall of the Queen’s Court and watches a man mourn over the beheaded corpse of Laveau before she’s restored to reality. Dominique immediately feels the need to run to her aunt’s side and she makes her way to the Garden District, she’s distraught to see her bleeding out on the floor. Her dying words are quickly overshadowed by the arrival of a stranger with a gun who brandishes her aunt as a traitor.
I haven’t seen anything in recent years from artist Denys Cowan but I was very saddened to note the inside art was just okay. That’s not to tear him down at all, I just don’t think it worked for this story. The cover art was very pretty and I was hoping for something that would add to the tale of Voodoo Child.
This comic had a lot of promise, especially with the story of a child of famed voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau. I was hoping for rich detail and delicate story but I didn’t find that here. I’d leave this on the shelf.