Posted tagged ‘Crecy’

Review: Frankenstein’s Womb

August 22, 2009

Frankenstein’s Womb is the latest in Warren Ellis’ occasional line of Apparat comics from Avatar.  The central premise behind these books is what would comics have been like had pulp traditions besides masked vigilantes become the dominant genre in the form?  They’ve also consistantly been his best work over the last few years (Crecy may actually be his greatest work ever).

So, now he’s essentially written an Alan Moore comic (think From Hell but focusing on Frankenstein instead of Jack the Ripper).  Within the fairly short tale Ellis manages to explore the origins of the Frankenstein story, the history of both Mary Shelley and her closest relations, and how all of these things tie together to lay the groundwork for the modern world.  

It’s a fascinating read, on a number of levels.  It doesn’t quite read like an Ellis book, or something published by Avatar for that matter.  It’s also far more readable than any of its peers (which may only include From Hell and Alice In Sunderland, not to sleight the achievements of either of those works).  Definitely recommended.

Review: Aetheric Mechanics

October 29, 2008

Aetheric Mechanics is the latest book to come out of Warren Ellis’ Apparat line.  The Apparat books are Ellis’ latest attempt to address his now famous line regarding the dominance of the superhero genre in comics “it’s like every bookstore in the planet having ninety percent of its shelves filled by nurse novels.”  The main conceipt of these books is that they are written as if a different genre grew to dominate the field and had been given the chance to evolve properly over the last 50 or so years.

This time out it’s a Sherlock Holmes mystery with some touches of Sax Rohmer thrown in.  It’s a clever story in which the master detective is forced to confront his own place in the world, and Ellis does a masterful job of updating the genre.  And it’s amazing how detailed a world Ellis can create in a story that’s only 48 pages long, although much of that credit must go to the art team of Gianluca Pagliarani and Chris Dreier.  I particularly like the sense of history apparent in all the military vehicals in the story, you can clearly see that all the modern technological marvels of the story are refitted relics underneath.

This isn’t quite up there with the last Apparat book (the brilliant Crecy), but it still does a great job of progressing the line and is highly recommended.