jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014

Comic-book reviews: Nailbiter and War Cry

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)

Review Soundtrack: I suggest reading this review while listening to Nailbiter, by Sister Sin (Spotify, YouTube).

After several not very satisfying reads, I've found a couple of comic-books that I've thoroughly enjoyed: War Cry, written by Jim Butcher and illustrated by Carlos Gomez, and Nailbiter, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Mike Henderson

War Cry is a story set in the popular Harry Dresden saga. Despiste the frequent recommendations of my friends (most notably Miquel Codony, who is a huge fan of the series) I have not yet read any of the novels, so I thought reading this comic could be an easier starting point. I knew that I would be missing some of the finer points (the story is set after Dead Beat, which is the seventh Harry Dresden book), but this graphic-novel stands quite well on its own (it includes all five issues of the mini-series) and I had no major problems understanding (and enjoying) it. In fact, it made me want to read the saga as soon as possible, which I think is as good a praise as I can give.

War Cry is fast-paced and action-packed. The five issues all set during the siege of a house which contains a mysterious object and features a lot of battle scenes. Thus, I think it was a very good decision to write the story in comic-book form since it perfectly suits the contents: less character-driven and more action-oriented. The plot is gripping and the characters, although a bit clichéd, are interesting and charismatic. The art is also quite good, especially in the battle scenes, which are clear and vivid. The expressions of the characters seem a bit forced sometimes and their faces are "too angular," but nothing especially problematic. Recommended if you want to have a good, fun time, and especially if you are a fan of the series. 

Nailbiter is even better than War Cry and, in fact, one of the best comics I've read in a long time. I had great expectations for this one because the synopsis was really intriguing (a small town which is home to SIXTEEN different serial killers), but they were all more than met. Both the writing and the art are excellent, combining to create an incredible atmosphere of mystery and fascination that will make you want to read page after page to know what happens next (I, for one, am eagerly awaiting for the next installment). 

This first volume of Nailbiter, which collects the first five issues of the series, has surprising twists, interesting characters, a wonderful cinematographic style and even some humor. Some of the scenes are a bit gory, as you can expect from the topic at hand, and might be not to the taste of those with a weak stomach. In no case, though, do the authors fall into showing gratuitous violence or blood and gore just for the sake of it. In fact, if you like movies such as Seven or The Silence of the Lambs (to which the comic pays explicit homage) you will love Nailbiter. Highly, highly recommended.

All in all, two graphic novels that, despite being quite different one from another, made me had an excellent time. War Cry is good urban fantasy with tons of action and Nailbiter is a gripping thriller with a hint of the supernatural and superb writing and art. I recommend them both, especially Nailbiter which is one of the best comics I've read since Locke & Key. And that is a lot to say. 

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