Friday, July 10, 2015
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem
Inglourious Basterds, but it is a piece of convenient wish fulfillment. The fictional drama here may be diminished in comparison to real accounts of Nazi occupation, and I am not sure I quite buy the magical realism within, but what is exceptional in this book is the artwork created by Dave Wachter. His characters are well defined and full of affect. His pacing and storytelling are excellent, and the larger page size of this collection really features his exquisite line work and watercolor shading. This book contains a beautiful display of visual artistry.
The story in this book is by Steve Niles and Matt Santoro. Niles is known primarily as a horror writer, and his first major work was the comic book series 30 Days of Night, which was adapted into a major motion picture. Santoro is an actor, and as far as I can tell this is his only work in comics. Wachter has a number of comics credits, but is probably best known for the series Scar Tissue and The Guns of Shadow Valley. Niles and Wachter speak about their work on this book in this interview.
This series was well received, and it has been picked up as a property for development into a movie. The reviews about it I have read have been mostly celebratory. Gary Makries called it "amazing" and stated that he "cannot recommend this enough." Gregory Paul Silber was very impressed with the artwork, but in the end was disappointed by some story details, finding it "a bit problematic that there is not a single mention of Jews or Judaism throughout the story" and also troubled that no specific geographic setting is named. Kimberly summed up that if you are "a fan of great artwork and great storytelling, you cannot go wrong with Breath of Bones."
Breath of Bones was published by Dark Horse, and they provide a preview and more here.