Dark Delicacies – #1

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Jan 2009 – IDW

Letters: Robbie Robbins

Part of the Game
Author: F.Paul Wilson
Script: Dan Wickline
Art: Douglas Draper

Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Script: Neal Barrett Jr.
Pencils: Jerry Beck
Paint: Thomas Smith

This series is based upon the horror anthologies of Jeff Gelb and Del Howison slated to last at least a year.

This issue features two tales of terror which I will examine separately to keep things straight in my head and allow for easier digestion.

The first story, Part of the Game, captured me visually, first. I dig the painted style and dark colour. It also has a sort of old look to it that fits with this particular story.

The writing reminds me of those old time radio dramas; too many words, but you like it just the same. It helps you keep the images running in your mind. In this case, the reference is welcome. This is a tale of terror, so any nostalgia just adds to the experience which is purely psychological.

Now would be a good reminder that these tales are stories adapted to a comic medium, so it’s almost like reading a book set to pictures. This first tale has lots of prose and it’s good, well worth the extra time. The art is more of visual cues for the mind.

Talking a little of plot, this one’s not too creative. You can sort of see where it’s going, but it’s not entirely predictable. Here we have a case of a bad detective needing money to feed his girl and wanting a cut of Chinatown’s underground profits. It’s obvious things don’t go well, and I won’t spoil the fun. Needless to say, I’m not very fond of bugs.

When I said it wasn’t too creative, I probably should have phrased it differently. It’s an awesome story, it just doesn’t stand out much among the countless other short horror stories it competes with. I’m thinking mostly Tales of the Crypt here, but a little more sophisticated.

Dog, the second story in this book, has a more traditional comic style to it with ore variety to the panels. It definitely more graphic that the previous story. Right off the bat we see this hideous beast with a dog in it’s mouth, and shortly later, severed snake bits.

This story feels more gratuitous. It’s just a brutal fight with a huge demon dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love my gore, but I wanted something more engaging. All the text in the beginning setting up why this guy is on a bike a night could have easily been left out. The first story is clearly the winner.

I’ll likely still follow this series to see what other gems it may yield.

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