Review: Love From the Shadows
I recently re-watched the gone too soon tv show, Terriers, which was on FX. For those who are unfamiliar, it is about a pair of private investigators, one ex-cop and ex-con, who undertake several different odd cases. The over-arching storyline reminded me of watching Robert Towne’s and Jack Nicholson’s Chinatown, about a mass conspiracy involving some big land barons and a bunch of coverups. This reminded of those old pulp novels I grew up reading some involving crime, some about deceit amongst individuals, but each story just as juicy as the other.
In comics, Ed Brubaker has been one of the individuals, who is also ardent about this genre as is evident in his books, Velvet and The Fade Out. Traces of the genre can also be seen in Jason Aaron’s underrated tome Scalped. Rarely have adaptations of some of the films have ever been undertaken, as a lot of these movies were gems and inspired movies like Far From Heaven. This lead me to Gilbert Hernandez’s (Love and Rockets) solo outing series of books, which explores Luba’s (character from Love and Rockets) sister, Fritz’s movies and one of the most prominent ones being, Love from The Shadows.
In this adaptation of this faux movie, Fritz portrays Dolores, a well to do woman who enjoys the lush life as the concubine of a supernatural scam artist. Eventually Dolores, is called home as her father’s health deteriorates and some old family wounds are reopened. A chance encounter leads her to the film business where she runs into a series of “abusive people”, which use her for their pleasure as a betrayal allows this descent. By book’s end, Dolores takes control of her situation and exacts revenge in the worst way.
Overall, an excellent story which proves that Hernandez is quite a cinephile capturing the tone and driving themes that were prominent in most of these movies, much like the Pam Grier movie, Coffy. The story by Hernandez, is lithe, complex, and entertaining. The art by Hernandez is reminiscent of his work on Love and Rockets but with few subtle differences. Altogether, a book that will give smiles and cringes, but will entertain nonetheless.
Story: Gilbert Hernandez Art: Gilbert Hernandez
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy