Saturday, 2 July 2016

In a Glass Grotesquely by Richard Sala Review

Richard Sala’s work is very uneven - for every great book he puts out (Delphine, Cat Burglar Black, Groon Grove Vampires, The Hidden) he’ll release something mediocre or crap (Mad Night, Chuckling Whatsit, Peculia, Grave Robber’s Daughter); unfortunately In a Glass Grotesquely is the latter. 

The main story is about a campy supervillain called Super-Enigmatix who terrorises the world. As always with Sala, the hero is some random woman who inevitably stops him.

The story is really boring for its intentional corniness and, though I think it was meant to be humorous, it wasn’t. The dialogue is terrible, the reveal of Super-Enigmatix’s identity is pathetic, and the ending is wrapped up abruptly, like Sala couldn’t figure out how to close out and just put a pin in it there and moved on. The book also includes three very forgettable, very short, almost non-stories about nothing. 

The best thing about the book, like in all of Sala’s comics, is his artwork which is wonderfully cartoonish gothic horror. Super-Enigmatix is one of those rare Sala comics which is also coloured and the watercolour washes look terrific. The three shorts at the end are black and white but the inks are fantastic and the imagery very surreal, like cubist mixed with gothic sensibilities. Even the lettering feels horror-esque too with its crookedness - I love Sala’s lettering, it’s so unique and outstanding. 

Richard Sala is a heckuva comics creator who I’ll always read so it’s disappointing to discover that In a Glass Grotesquely is one of his lesser efforts despite being one of his best-looking comics. All style, no substance - check out Delphine or The Hidden instead.

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