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.
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.
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.
Bodies accumulate as the ghost writer of a radio agony column draws on listeners’ letters in their serial killing. 1940s Barcelona-set deadpan absurdist noir that might be a touch impenetrable at first, but which comes with some useful appendices: based on a real-world radio show. Great-looking though, being rendered in lovely monochrome.
A four-room motel off Route 66; a series of perhaps-connected stories. Excellent horror anthology, complete with an EC Comics-style narrator/host and payoffs loaded with gleeful gory justice. Lots to relish here; let’s hope that there’s more to come!
Two lonely, lowly people find themselves – and each other – in the middle of a zombie situation. Whimsical and charming, Jason’s deadpan approach to straightforward story matter is effective, not least when dealing with the tropes of the z-genre. A short read, and all the better for its briskness.
Nine Japanese stories of food, folklore, and supernatural revenge. Excellent compilation of traditional tales, delivered with twist-in-the-tale EC Comics-style glee. Lots to enjoy and to appreciate, not least in the book’s sumptuous presentation, and in the accompanying recipes and guide to ghosts and demons of the Edo period. Recommended.
A drifter murders and rapes a young woman; years later, he writes his confession. A charcoal-black short novel from the crime/noir master, and perhaps not one for all sensibilities. Nevertheless, effortlessly narrated, and thought-provoking, while offering no easy answers.
A monograph on the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of the Stephen King novel. And a good one too; a smart, detailed and perceptive commentary on the movie, its production and reception. Academic but accessible, and even-handed in its analysis of the continuing significance of the movie as a popular culture touchstone. Recommended.
A smart, clear, and diligent monograph on the Jonathan Demme-directed adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel. Straightforward and effective, this short book covers the movie and its source material, as well as the wider impact of Lecter in print and film, as well as in genre. Recommended.