Tomb of the Red Horse

Written by Ian Mondrick
Benjamin AE Filby, artist
Dearbhla Kelly, colorist
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, letters

Available only to Kickstarter backers, but you may be able to contact Ian by way of his website:

Monumental and monstrous.

I want to start off saying this is a great comic! I highly recommend you get it and read it! The artwork is stunning and the story has a compelling hook to it!

That out of the way, there is one nit that I can't ignore, but I'll save it for the end.

Tomb of the Red Horse has a look and feel of the beginning of that old movie (also inspired by a comic book series) from 2005: Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves. Both TOTRH and Constantine start in the desert, and have a 'spear' as a story implement. I won't elaborate on Constantine, that's for another time. Just go see the movie.

TOTRH is nasty and violent from the start, but very elegant too. The pages are printed in a matte finish and have a heavier weight than a regular comic. Stuff like that can be very important in how you're telling your story. Basically, there's the Las Vegas Strip, the crash of Air Force One, the President's son and his bodyguard and a mysterious cave. All this is wrapped up in a vampire/crazy red-eyed apocalypse.

You would think that all this 'hot button' detail would add up to a conflicted and convoluted story, one that exists merely to get filled up with the latest horror trends. However, TOTRH in its center is forceful and lean. There's just the right amount of detail, handled expertly by the artistic hand of Benjamin Filby and the colorist's eye of Dearbhla Kelly. Patches of color in place of black lines give this comic a sense of depth and gravity. In its mere 28 pages you get a real 'epic' sense of a worldwide (or at least Nevada-wide) catastrophe on your hands.

I wouldn't hesitate to read more pages by this team. There's a clearly defined style, one of those comics that says 'here's how we're going to display the world to you' and either you're in it or not from the get-go.

But hold on...

Now for the nit:

The cover. It's awful. I know they were going for 'mysterious eyeball' but I can't help but... see... a... well, female anatomy part, if you get my drift. If these guys reprint this please just use any splash page from inside -or even the back of the book for the cover!

Comic book review next Tuesday:

My friend Micheal Penick has a really good looking book called Recovery Incorporated!

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