Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher

Editor's Note: 
Welcome to our new contributor, Reboot!  He will be joining [IGH] as a comic reviewer.

By Reboot

On Wednesday, May 15th, Issue 1 of 2 of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher will be hitting the shelves.  It’s adapted and drawn by Richard Corben and put out by Dark Horse Comics for $3.99.

To start, Richard Corben’s art is beautiful as always and is worth the $3.99 admission if his style speaks to you.  How he captures the people, the trees, the exterior of the house; it’s all stunning and original in its own right.  His use of colors and shadows are mostly spot on and give you a feel for the impending doom ahead.  He also makes good use of the 22 pages he has and creates a story that could stand alone despite only being half of the full story.

That being said, I do feel a couple of things, no matter how minor, could have elevated the story.  I will preface this with the fact that I am not a huge fan of multiple splash pages in comics, multiple double page spreads (some exceptions apply like J.H. Williams III’s intricate dps’s), but they shouldn’t be something to be avoided entirely.  I am familiar with some of Richard Corben’s work, and I understand he is not the type to do that, but his art is so lovely and detailed that I feel we are missing out by not having a gorgeous splash page to show off all the details of this horrifying, decaying house.  There are opportunities that arise in these 22 pages where that could have happened, but adding more panels to stress the little moments is his preferred route.  For this story, I don’t think that is necessarily the ideal method.

This leads me into the text.  I would have understood more if there was a lot of back and forth dialogue between characters where the space was premium and needed more panels.  In this story the dialogue is very sparse, particularly in the beginning.  This was a quicker read for me than the vast majority of books I pick up.  Though I do appreciate his art, if I were closer to indifference, the $3.99 price tag would make this a tough sell.

Despite these flaws, I will say if you are a fan of Richard Corben, Edgar Allan Poe, or want to support more classic horror comics and adaptations, you should make it a point to pick up The Fall of the House of Usher.  Plus, it’s only a two issue investment so you won’t be breaking the bank in the long run.  However, if none of the above applies to you, look into spending that $3.99 on another new title or give that series you’re on the fence about that you’ve been getting one more chance.

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