Thursday, 4 February 2016

Review: Diary of the Black Widow AnniverSERIES edition.

Story and art: Bret M. Herholz
Letters: John Shaver
Co-editors: Peter Simeti and Erin Kohut
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Released: February 3rd 2016 (digital)

Alterna Comics' ten year celebrations are really getting into their stride now, with a Kickstarter and more in the mix, but stay tuned for more on that. Today I'll be looking at the AnniverSERIES editon of Diary of the Black Widow.
This is a fun little edition that serves as a good introduction to the whole book. The plot is pretty well covered in the books title and we see the widow cross paths with a bumbling detective inspector. It's not that simplistic though, this is a merry macabre dance that is equal parts engrossing and whimsical, perhaps even a fell elements of classic slapstick comedy thrown in along the way for our enjoyment; and enjoyable it is.
This is my first experience with Herholz and I was impressed. His work is well plotted and paced and the dialogue is well thought out, each page leaves you eager to turn to the next and see what's in store. The script is laced with a certain humour that I found extremely funny, to the point where I laughed out loud and woke up my baby son. This talent for story seems to echo more anachronistic writers, such as Burroughs or Doyle, and Herholz has subverted the classic detective story to create something quite unique.
Whilst we're in the subject of uniqueness, let's address the artwork. At first glance it looks simplistic, maybe it is. However when you start to delve into it, there is a quiet elegance to be found. The art reflects the story well, there are times when it is downright sinister, and is sequentially consistent. 
Really there is no reason not to get this comic, it's just another shining example of the quality work that Alterna comics are putting out there.
Despite the numerous positives, it may tip the scales with the fact that this edition is currently free on comixology, so what are you waiting for?

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