Thursday, 26 October 2017

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire Review (Neil Gaiman, Shane Oakley)


“Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire” - quite the title, eh? Shane Oakley adapts into comics Neil Gaiman’s short story taking the piss out of the kind of classic 18th/19th century Gothic Romances that Ann Radcliffe and Horace Walpole wrote.

A jaded horror author, himself living in a clich├ęd horror story, is tired of writing horror – or “slice of life” to him, hoho – and finds contentment in writing, er, “fantasy”.

It’s an amusing, though one-note, idea that rests entirely on the punchline as everything up to that point is pretty tedious to read. I know that’s the point but that doesn’t make it any better. Shane Oakley’s art ain’t that great either. I thought it was clever that the visuals were sketchy and amorphous in the passages the author was writing, reflecting the uninspired vagueness he was seeing in his mind’s eye, but on the whole it wasn’t that impressive.

A lot of the recent comics adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s short stories have been pretty good but Forbidden Brides… is one of the more forgettable ones. I’d recommend reading the original short story instead if only because it’s included in the Fragile Things collection which itself contains some pretty spectacular stories.

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