Tag: christopher golden

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    Joe Golem is Back With More Pulpy, Supernatural Fun in Joe Golem The Outer Dark #1

    In 2012, Mike Mignola (Hellboy, Lobster Johnson, Baltimore) teamed with Christopher Golden (The Myth, The Boys Are Back in Town) to co-create and co-author the novel Joe Golem and The Drowning City. The tale takes place in an alternate timeline Manhattan, which is currently under thirty feet of water.

    Simon Church is a Victorian-era detective who is kept alive for more than a century via a complex combination of bio-mechanical magic, clockwork gears, spit, and shoelaces. His assistant, Joe Golem, has bizarre dreams that speak to him of a former life. He has visions of being mud and stone and hunting witches. Unfortunately, he can’t quite piece together his own origin.

    Four years after the release of the illustrated novel, Mignola and Guest revisited The Drowning City with a five part prequel comic book miniseries, The Rat Catcher and The Sunken Dead.

    Joe Golem The Outer Dark

    Mignola’s latest book The Outer Dark takes place two years after Rat Catcher. Three Germans on a water taxi attack passengers and police. One of the Germans, Bodo Wegener, escapes after killing two people with his bare hands while screaming in German about the otherworldly voices in his head. The local detectives usually end up on Mr. Church’s stoop when things get a little too weird, and this case is definitely “Simon Church weird.”

    Joe Golem — The Outer Dark Sports an All-Star Creative Team

    Patric Reynolds (Aliens: Fire and Stone, Hellboy and the BPRD: 1954) did the art for Rat Catcher and is also the artist for this new series. Reynolds brings an aesthetic to the project that looks like it’s straight from a pulp mystery novel. The Drowning City doesn’t exactly look like a place I’d want to raise children but I’d definitely want to explore it in daylight.

    Mignola and Golden give us a script that will appeal to fans of horror, pulp, noir, steampunk, monsters and magic. There is enough backstory that a new reader can easily pick up the series. However, if you haven’t already read The Rat Catcher and The Sunken Dead, I’d recommend picking up the hard copy. Readers of series like The Goon and The Damned will feel right at home with Joe Golem.

    Joe Golem: Occult Detective — The Outer Dark #1, Dark Horse Comics, May 31, 2017, Written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, Art by Patric Reynolds, Color by Dave Stewart, Cover by Dave Palumbo, $3.99

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    Review: Baltimore – The Curse Bells

    Review: Baltimore - The Curse Bells

    baltimore the curse bellsWorld War I has ended abruptly and everyone’s attention is now on the plague that’s devastated the world’s population. Worse, not only are some of the dead coming back to life, but vampires have shown up throughout Europe too, including the king of the vampires, Haigus. His nemesis is Lord Baltimore, a soldier who plods through the ravaged landscape, sworn to revenge Haigus killing his family and brutalizing his wife. The Baltimore series follows his adventures, and The Curse Bells offers some new characters and a dark twist to the tale.

    Baltimore has a new associate in this story arc, Boston Globe reporter Simon Hodge. Actually, he’s not part of the Globe any more: he started filing stories about the vampire problem and was promptly fired from the newspaper. He’s fearless, if a bit clueless, and travels with Baltimore as they encounter a cursed monastery where the nuns have been turned towards evil.

    Peeking in the window, they see an abomination poised to occur, a horrible scene led by someone we can only assume is a warlock. Who is he? What’s his story, and what the deuce is going on? There’s a witch called Blavatsky who’s central to the story (though she doesn’t show up until the latter half of the tale) and when the warlock requests a favor from her in return for him bringing her back to life, she agrees. And that favor ties into the carillon bells in the monastery, a favor so ghastly that it’ll be a great tragedy if they’re rung.

    Baltimore isn’t without other enemies, either, and readers of the series won’t be surprised when Inquisition judge André Duvic shows up to do God’s work and try to purge sinners of their evil in ways that are too graphic to even portray in the story. Baltimore’s quest is to find and kill Haigus. Duvic’s quest is to find and “cleanse” Baltimore. And the chase continues.

    baltimore the curse bells, detail

    Interestingly, Haigus is not actually in control of the monastery nor of the warlock, so when Baltimore encounters him, old hatred simmers while he tries to figure out the best way forward. Kill Haigus or stop the warlock and Blavatsky from completing their curse? There are no easy answers in the world of Lord Baltimore, but there is a great style that’s kept throughout the tale, including some remarkably chilling illustrations, and a powerful hero’s journey though a dark world that keeps the series moving forward, series after series.

    Baltimore: The Curse Bells, written by Mike Mignola, art by Christopher Golden, lettering by Ben Stenbeck. Published by Dark Horse Comics, published May 2012.

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    Review: Baltimore: The Plague Ships

    Review of Baltimore - The Plague Ships

    baltimore the plague shipsIt’s a grim history of a grim parallel world. Or is it our history? Set in 1916, WWI has ended abruptly with the coming of The Plague, a plague that turns innocents into vampires. The story opens on the windswept French coastline, a fishing port where the German soldiers continue to occupy the town, to the disgust of the locals. It’s a world overrun with horror and the book follows Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier with but one thing on his mind: kill Kaigus, the king of the vampires. Yes, there are vampires, but these are not the sparkly vampires of modern teen romances, this is a horror story with a world that’s dark, bloody and oft-alarming. No-one smiles. There aren’t flowers on tables or clouds that look like unicorns. You got the wrong story for that stuff, bub.

    Instead, Baltimore: The Plague Ships is a gritty hero’s journey where Baltimore, armed with a surprising variety of different weapons, slogs through the French countryside seeking, seeking the slippery Kaigus. His quest is marked by death at every step as he leaves an ever growing pile of bodies in his wake. Vampire bats with German military uniforms, soldiers with skulls for faces, even a zeppelin, a plague ship and a submarine graveyard.

    Early on, Baltimore meets the lovely gypsy girl Vanessa when she helps him out of a bind, but is she all she seems, this curvaceous young witch eager to boast about her dark talents? She sees Baltimore as a savior of the little fishing village and her ticket out of “this dead place”, but the other townspeople fear him as the devil and call on the ominous Judge Duvic to judge Baltimore. He’s to either find Baltimore a warlock, deserving of being hanged, or, perhaps, someone who has indeed saved the town from having been overrun with the Plague that turns innocents into vampires.

    The story continues from there, including an extended backstory segment where Baltimore tells of being in the trenches, fighting the Hessians. And it’s great storytelling, propelled forward by Mike Mignola’s usual splendid storytelling and in particular by the sepia palette and excellent artwork of Christopher Golden. The entire series serves as a reminder of the visceral pleasure of a dark, moody horror series. It’s a great read.

    Baltimore: The Plague Ships TPB, written by Mike Mignola, art by Christopher Golden, lettering by Ben Stenbeck. Published by Dark Horse Books, June 2011.

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