Monday, January 30, 2017
REVIEW: Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire (Dark Horse, 2017)
IT'S a helluva mouthful of a title, but that just an early taster of Neil Gaiman's offbeat sense of humour in this yarn. Forbidden Brides... is based on a short story from his 2006 book Fragile Things.
It's an interesting concept: what if Edgar Allen Poe or Mary Shelley lived in a world just like the one they wrote about? A world populated with frail heroines, sinister caretakers, dark castles, talking ravens and all manners of ungodly creatures?
Would authors of the fantastic want to write about what was "normal" to them then? Or would they crave to write about a "fantasy" world where men and women sat around reading newspapers at the breakfast table and made toast?
If you carry through on that conceit, then you have scope for a very funny satire of "gothic terror" tales.
Shane Oakley's graphic novel adaptation is spot on - his artwork is moody and evocative, relying heavily on heavy black inks that effectively convey shadows that seem to hide greater horrors than depicted on the page. In fact, it's so effective that you almost forget that the story is in colour rather than B&W.
If you loved Gaiman's original story, then this is a worthy, respectful reinterpretation of the piece.
Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire is published by Dark Horse and goes on sale February 7.