Dead End, vol. 1
by Shohei Manabe
A mysterious beautiful naked girl falls out of the sky and into Shirou's life. In most manga this would set the stage for wacky hijinks, but in Dead End it leads Shirou into a world of actual and existential horror. He soon find his neighbors in his apartment building brutally murdered, and learns that this life and memories have all been a lie. As he attempts to piece together his real life, Shirou finds himself on the run from mysterious pursuers and sinking into a dark world of violence and paranoia. Manabe has an interesting visual style that reminds me more of Paul Pope than typical manga. it's not always exactly clear what is going on in Dead End, but that may be by design and reflective of Shirou's own confusion. The violence can be graphic and brutal at times, although not in an over-the-top splatter movie way. An interesting read.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings
edited by Scott Allie
P. Craig Russell, Mike Mignola, Paul Chadwick, and a host of other talented comics creators get together to present a collection of ghost stories. The quality of the offerings that Allie has assembled is quite high, with lush art on glossy paper ina sturdy hardcover volume. The best is saved for last, as Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson tell a story of neighborhood pets attempting to exorcise a haunted doghouse. The only misstep in this collection is a text interview with a supposed 'séance medium,' ten pages of bullhockey that is easily skipped over. But the rest of the package makes for fine reading, and shows how good anthologies can be .
Rating: 4 (of 5)