Monday, December 15, 2008

Aetheric Mechanics

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Gianluca Pagliarani and Chris Dreier

Some of the best work that Ellis has ever done has come out of Avatar Press under the Apparat banner. This is another one of his brilliant 50-odd page graphic novels, which contains more ideas and material than most writers could fit into a 12-issue series.

In this book, a very Sherlock Holmes detective named Sax Raker must solve the Case of the Man Who Wasn't There, with the aid of a Watson analogue - Watcham, a doctor recently returned from war with the Ruritanians. In Raker's London there are flying battleships powered by aether (or the power is transmitted by it?).

In a matter of pages Ellis shows us a fully realized fantasy world, and then proceeds to put it through its paces as the war heats up, and the Man Who Wasn't There invokes some very complicated physics to explain all that is going on.

The art is nice. It has that Avatar house look to it, but that look has always complimented Ellis's black-and-white graphic novellas nicely. I think I liked Crecy more, but this book comes highly recommended.

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