Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Girl Who Would Be Death, by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Dean Ormston

(pb; 1998-1999: four-issue comic book series. Loosely connected spin-off story from Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life.)

The plot: Plath and Evangeline, a voodoo-practicing New Orleans couple, purchase an expensive, ancient and supernatural book (The Magdalene Grimoire) from a sleazoid antiques dealer (Ashaira), in order to resurrect their dead friend, Billy.

When a sigil - an ankh, which Plath immediately recognizes as Death's (as in: the perky, cute Goth girl incarnation of Her) - falls out of the Grimoire, it sets into motion a chain reaction of death, undeath and other calamities, not the least of which is Death's dispatch of her bouncer-big, motorcycle riding servant (Eblis O'Shaughnessy), so that he may retrieve Her ankh.

Girl is an excellent spin-off series - it not only references many key characters and elements of The Endless (Death, and Her equally important and diverse kin), but also Kiernan's trademark components (neologisms; character/emotional resonance; Goth edgy sensibilities; literary references; toying with, then reworking, clichés into something entirely new.)

Ormston's artwork is the perfect complement to the dark, disturbing, and often grisly and melancholic story.

Worth owning, this.

(Quick note: I checked Amazon for a graphic novel edition of this four-magazine series, but didn't find one.)

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