GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Comic Review: Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit [Hardcover] | I Smell Sheep

Friday, August 31, 2012

Comic Review: Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit [Hardcover]

Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit [Hardcover]
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Scott Morse
Cover Artist: Scott Morse
Genre: Action/Adventure, Crime, Horror
Publication Date: September 12, 2012
Format: FC, 32 pages; HC, 9" x 12"

A haunted veteran leads monster hunter Cal McDonald to a creepy subterranean military base where mad-science experiments were conducted on US soldiers.

Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) takes his occult detective into a new collector’s format with Eisner winner Scott Morse of Pixar and TR!CKSTER fame!
*Printed as an oversized hardcover in a deluxe format.

*A perfect introduction for new readers!

“Steve Niles has beaten up his main man, broken him down and now stands on the precipice of reinventing him with a conflict on the horizon that portends to be nothing short of epic.” —Newsarama

I love Criminal Macabre for its snarky humor, but this one was much different from the rest. There was a little humor, because Cal McDonald is a bit of an ass on a good day and becoming recently dead hasn’t improved his outlook, but the story itself is about guilt and loyalty and how far someone will go to make things right.

The story is very well done and I liked the use of an old fashion typewriter font because it added to the secret government files and projects aspect of the story. The art work is very minimal and consists mostly of sketchings and watercolors in somber earth tones. While this does fit the ghost story mood, I personally didn’t find it aesthetically pleasing. At the end the artist, Scott Morse, talks about why they choose this type of medium to tell this story and it gave me more appreciation for the comic as a whole.

I enjoyed the story and the hauntingly beautiful tale.

3 1/2 “possessed” Sheep


Steve Niles is best known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark, Mystery Society, and Batman: Gotham County Line. He is credited among other contemporary writers with bringing horror comics back to prominence. Steve got his start back in Washington, DC, through his own Arcane Comix, where he began writing and publishing comics and anthologies in the mid-eighties. Monster hunter Cal McDonald continues in the Criminal Macabre series from Dark Horse (Criminal Macabre Omnibus Volume 2 has just been released), as well as in stories currently being published by Steve’s own Bloody Pulp Books. Steve is writing a new 30 Days of Night series for IDW, with Sam Kieth illustrating. 30 Days of Night sparked renewed interest in the horror genre and was released in 2007 as a major motion picture. Steve resides in Los Angeles with his fiancĂ©e Monica, two dogs, four cats, and Gil the tortoise. While there’s no crawlspace, there is a questionable closet in one corner and no one is quite sure what is hidden in there . . . but we have an idea.

Award-winning storyteller Scott Morse has authored over
twenty graphic novels, including Soulwind, Ancient Joe, Strange Science Fantasy, and the Magic Pickle series for children. His story work in film includes Ratatouille, WALL-E, Cars 2, and Brave. He lives in northern California with his wife and children, building hot rods and wreaking havoc of all kinds.

Cal McDonald saw his first dead body when he was eight years old—setting the tone for the rest of his life. A pill-popping, alcoholic degenerate, Cal teams up with his ghoul associate Mo’Lock to spiral around the sin-infested streets of Los Angeles in his possessed Chevy Nova, battling a growing horde of monsters. After losing one friend after another to his cases, Cal is slowly being pushed over the edge. A looming war between man and monster is coming, and Cal and his army of the undead are ready to blast every single werewolf, demon,
occultist, and vampire back to hell!

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