Redfork, by Alex Paknadel, Nil Vendrell & Giulia Brusco (TKO Studios, 2020)

An ex-con returns to his drugs and disease-blighted mining community: soon, other monsters lurk. Splashy blue-collar Beowulf-ish horror graphic novel (a six-issue run collected here), working similar territory to the later Grendel, Kentucky. Pacy and told with verve, this is fine stuff all the way through.

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

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.

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.

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.

Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig (Solaris/Rebellion, 2019)

As a flu-like plague sweeps the world, a small number of sleepwalkers congregate to cross America. Pacy and with some fine characterisations, and a neat eye for contemporary America, the central conceits of this King/Crichton hybrid don’t quite hold. Well-written enough to keep pages turning though; a cautious recommendation.

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