Sunday, December 14, 2008

House of Mystery #8

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Luca Rossi, Jose Marzan Jr., and Henry Flint

I think I'm permanently on the fence about this comic. I like so many things about it - the idea of a bar where people trade stories, the story-in-a-story approach (especially considering the calibre of artists they are using), and I like a few of the characters.

The only thing holding this book back for me is the generally slow pace at which things progress in the on-going part of the story. Now, obviously, the framing story does not have as many pages as a regular comic to move through, but I feel sometimes like very little has happened in a given issue.

This issue, for example, does a great job of giving us some much-needed back-story concerning Harry the bartender, and even has an appearance from Abel and Goldie, the former dwellers of the House. The framing story gives us some random debauchery, and some weird creatures, leading to a surprise ending that didn't surprise me so much as confuse me again.

The art provided by Flint is quite different from his work on Haunted Tank, but still quite nice. The main story art, by Rossi, is serviceable. I'm starting to wonder what the deal is with Vertigo books and Italian artists, but that's a post for another day.....

Anyway, I'm sticking with this title through the end of this arc, and then I'm going to have to decide. I'd like to see something to give me faith in an overall plan for this title.

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