Red Range: A Wild Western Adventure, by Joe R Lansdale & Sam Glanzman (It’s Alive!/IDW, 2017/1999)

A masked vigilante saves a boy from the Klan: a chase ensues. Smart, fast, violent, angry, and surprising pulp graphic novel. Fast and funny while unflinching in its depiction of racism, there’s a spot-on balance of telling it as it is and jazzing things up with high adventure. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Later, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, 2021)

A young boy has the ability to see and to speak with the recently-deceased. As he grows, this leads to conflict with both the living and the dead. A pacy yarn from the master, balancing crime-related thrills with the paranormal in line with much of his recent output. Won’t win any converts, but again emphasises that King is a supremely confident storyteller. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Coffin Bound, Vol. 1: Happy Ashes, by Dan Watters, Dani, Brad Simpson & Aditya Bidikar (Image Comics, 2020)

A young woman, pursued by an unstoppable supernatural contract killer, tries to erase all trace of her existence. Smart and dirty action-horror with arty leanings, in a Clive Barker meets late 80s Vertigo comics kinda way. This collects issues 1-4. Volume 2 follows.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Cigar That Fell in Love With a Pipe, by David Camus & Nick Abadzis [trans. Nick Probst] (SelfMadeHero, 2014)

A fable involving Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, a seaman’s pipe and a fabled cigarmaker. An odd but charming bit of magical realism. Not quite sure what to make of it, but enjoyable both in the story and in its execution, and in its passion in detail terms.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)

A hitman is hired to travel back to 1938 via time machine to kill Hitler. Deadpan SF black comedy in the author/illustrator’s signature style, which deftly explores the potential for complications in the premise. There’s depth in the approach; appreciating the deceptiveness of the apparent simplicity of Jason’s work is part of the pleasure.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

 

Spider-Man Noir: The Complete Collection, by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, Carmine di Giandomenico and others (Marvel, 2019)

Spider-Man’s origin, and his clashes with the Green Goblin, Otto Octavius and others, retold with a 1930s setting. Fun reworking of existing ideas and characters, with a nod to the Spider-Verse. Accessible for newbies like me – which helps – and gleeful in its mashup of Expressionism and PI tropes. Not essential, but diverting.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

 

 

 

A Face in the Crowd, by Stephen King & Stewart O’Nan (Hodder & Stoughton, 2012)

A widower fancies that he can see faces from his past in televised baseball games. Perhaps for King completists, this is nevertheless a melancholy and effective stand-alone story that doesn’t require a knowledge/love of baseball for it to work; we’ve all got regrets, after all.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Possession, by Michael Rutger [AKA Michael Marshall Smith] (Zaffre, 2019)

A documentary crew investigating mysteries associated with a remote Californian town find their sanities threatened. Excellent horror/thriller hybrid, with returning characters from the same author’s The Anomaly. As ever, Rutger/Marshall Smith is expert not only at persuading you of the impossible but in keeping those same horrors in the shadows. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.