This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!
Today I am featuring Jon Vinson and Marco Roblin’s Edge of the Unknown #1-2.
The above are the covers for the first two issues of a title, Edge of the Unknown, that has a pretty catchy high concept – it is about Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle solving a supernatural mystery in Los Angeles in 1923, guest-starring H.P. Lovecraft.
More amazingly, though, is that Vinson and Roblin play it totally straight, and it really does work. A lot of that really comes down to the (seemingly) tireless efforts of Vinson to ground his crazy story in as much factual stuff as he can. For instance, while this trio seems like an unlikely group, Houdini and Doyle actually WERE friends with each other, and Lovecraft actually ghost-wrote a story purported to be a “real-life” account by Houdini. So there’s a lot there for Vinson to work with, and he does a very nice job mixing the characters together that, to be honest, at times I think the story would work fine with just completely fictional characters, which is quite a feat for a story using real life people!
The mystery in the comic involves young would-be starlets in Hollywood being murdered by a cult of people who seem to be worshipers of Nyarlathotep, one of Lovecraft’s creations. Houdini is brought in when the father of one of the girls asks for his help, and Houdini in turn turns to Doyle, figuring he would be able to help not only with the deductive aspect of the situation, but in the supernatural element of it all (as Doyle was fervent believer in the supernatural). Naturally, Lovecraft eventually gets worked into the story, too.
It’s all very well-organized and well-plotted out by Vinson, with a strong appreciation of the personalities of all the real-life people that he features in the book.
The plot of the second issue lulls a little bit, after a very strong first issue, but I suppose we’re still in the early stages of introduction, etc.
Artist Marco Roblin brings an extremely dark, moody style of art to the story and I think it works well.
Here are two sample pages…
The book is a strong, polished work.
Jon sent me copies of The Edge of the Unknown #1-2. If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there might still be time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.