Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Death Deals Review

Rob Clough reviews Death Deals.

The perfect holiday gift for those you hold dear.

Death Deals, by Eamon Espey. This is perhaps the most intense of all of Espey’s comics, and that’s saying something. Drawn in his exacting, almost vibratory line, this is a loose collection of narrative images weaving in and out of each other depicting murder, mayhem, ritual sacrifice, sexual violation, body horror and other gruesome but deliberately static images. Espey manages the neat trick of flipping between standard panel-to-panel transitions and still drawings that look more like something from a cave painting or stained glass painting. The most disturbing images include a Santa Claus murdering everyone (including pets) in a home after his discovery of a gun as a gift he’s delivering warps his mind, as well as an unflinching ritual sacrifice and violation of a young woman manacled to a tree stump.

These are images straight from Espey’s id, reminiscent of the sort of thing that Rory Hayes used to do–only with a steady hand and clear mind behind them. His drawings, horrific as they appear, are absolutely exquisitely rendered. Espey’s comics are nightmarishly absurd, drawn with a clarity that forces the reader to confront beauty and ugliness in the same panel. They are genuinely disturbing and thought-provoking in a way that doesn’t feel affected or calculating. Espey is not trying to shock, but rather seeks to get these images out of his head and onto paper.

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