GHOST STO­RIES OF AN ANTIQUARY Monty Drawn

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 27 OC­TO­ber Pub­lisher self Made Hero

Writ­ers leah Moore, John rep­pion Artists aneke, Kit buss, Fouad Mezher, al­is­dair Wood

MR James’s tales of su­per­nat­u­ral terror, with their am­bi­gu­ity and fo­cus on pe­cu­liar, ar­rest­ing im­ages, have in­spired many great vi­su­al­i­sa­tions, and that tra­di­tion con­tin­ues with a vol­ume of new comic strip ver­sions. Just in time for the Christ­mas mar­ket.

Leah Moore and John Rep­pion keep their adap­ta­tions very spare – this book re­lates four sto­ries, each with a dif­fer­ent artist, in just 56 pages – but the tone and mood are care­fully pre­served.

Al­is­dair Wood shows hardly any­thing in a fine retelling of “The Ash-tree”, but the vile spi­der-like crea­tures are a great touch. The first man­i­fes­ta­tion of the crea­ture in “Canon Al­beric’s Scrap-book” is su­perbly han­dled by Aneke (though the sec­ond doesn’t quite live up to it), and the chil­dren of “Lost Hearts” are grue­somely ren­dered by Kit Buss. The best tale is “The Mez­zotint”: Fouad Mezher’s thick, dark lines take one of James’s odd­est sto­ries, in which the hor­ror is at one re­move, and make it creep­ily vivid.

This be­ing vol­ume one it’s safe to as­sume more adap­ta­tions are planned. Here’s hop­ing they do the lot. Ed­die Robson

A movie of “Cast­ing The Runes” di­rected by Joe Dante was an­nounced in 2013, but all’s gone quiet since.

Two or three shades of grey.

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