HOUSE OF PENANCE Print the legend
released OUT NOW! Publisher dark Horse Comics Writer Peter J Tomasi Artist Ian Bertram
This is a true story, sort of. Sarah Winchester, heir to half of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, spent 38 years continuously expanding her mansion, to both house and drown out the spirits of everyone killed by Winchester rifles. At least, that’s the legend, and while it was probably embellished over the years, it’s that version which Peter J Tomasi and Ian Bertram have run with for this superb horror comic.
The legend is already a fine piece of gothic narrative – a woman in fear of the past builds a labyrinthine house filled with redundant staircases – and the book gets full value out of it. Sarah, though quite mad, is a sympathetic heroine, desperate to make amends but also escape her fate, and her relationship with one of the labourers is touchingly portrayed.
Bertram’s artwork has an uneasy sense of instability and decay, but most striking are the blood-worms which writhe through floorboards and coil around necks, invisible to the characters. The sense that Sarah walks in blood everywhere she goes is powerfully conveyed. There are two issues left at the time of writing – wherever this goes, it’s going to get worse. Eddie Robson
Supernatural creator Eric Kripke says the house partially inspired him to give Sam and Dean the surname Winchester.
Everyone dreaded Granny’s kisses.