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Review: Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of the Dread Desire

forbidden-bridesA celebrated send-up of gothic literature, beautifully adapted into a dark, brooding, and oddly comical graphic novel. Somewhere in the night, a raven caws, an author’s pen scratches, and thunder claps. The author wants to write nonfiction: stories about frail women in white nightgowns, mysterious bumps in the night, and the undead rising to collect old debts. But he keeps getting interrupted by the everyday annoyances of talking ravens, duels to the death, and his sinister butler.

I haven’t read a lot of Neil Gaiman, I’m not much of a prose reader, so when diving into Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of the Dread Desire I had no expectations as to what was ahead of me. And coming out of reading it, I immediately want to check out more of Gaiman’s work.

With art by Shane Oakley, the comic is full of morose humor and twists. While at first I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, about a quarter of the way through the comic and story felt like it was classic Gaiman humor with a wink that makes it go from a dark tale like you’d see with Poe to something more.

By the time I got to the end of it all the whole vision was clear and I came from just liking the comic to really loving the comic. There’s such a sly thing that’s done and you don’t truly get a sense of what’s going on until the end. That’s both good and bad as there were points I felt like I was missing something, but it’s one you need to read the whole comic to get the full experience, and it’s an entertaining one.

Oakley’s art is fantastic with a dark and creepy style that reminds me a lot of something you’d see with a Hellboy comic. The story is dark relying on inks and shadows which create a mood and vibe that fits the story that Gaiman has crafted so well.

I’m not much of a prose reader, but I’d love to see more comic adaptations in this style. It reminds me a lot of “Classics Illustrated” giving you a good sense of the original story and entertaining with great visuals. A much shorter version… more please!!!!

Story: Neil Gaiman Art: Shane Oakley
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review