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Wraith Graphic Novel Review

Wraith Graphic Novel

“Wraith” is an unpleasant horror tale.

Written by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill, “Wraith” is a comic book prequel story to his novel “NOS4A2.” The graphic novel collection essentially contains three stories in total. First off, there’s the story of the rolls-royce driving Charlie Manx who is known as the titular wraith. We learn about the character’s horrific past, his wife and kids, his attachment to Christmasland, and his numerous child abductions. The second story involves two prisoners (Llewelyn and Dewey), 2 cops (Agnes and Kevin), and a carnival geek (Denis Skyes) and their encounter with Charlie Manx. Where this particular story goes, I will not say. Last, but not least, there’s an epilogue story that revolves around a child named Tommy. It’s a story about con artists that ties heavily into Charlie’s past.

Having not read “NOS4A2,” I cannot compare or contrast “Wraith” with that novel, but, like Joe Hill has stated, this graphic novel story stands on its own. With all of that said, I can say that in reading “Wraith,” I have no desire to read the novel this comic book story is connected to.

Now, perhaps I have put Hill’s “Locke and Key” series on such a high pedestal, but “Wraith” feels like a serious letdown as a follow-up. “Locke and Key” was brimming with character, mystery, excitement, and mythology whereas “Wraith” is a thoroughly unpleasant, miserably, ugly, punishing, hellish, magical universe with dark and wretched characters. Yes, there is some “light” when it comes to the storyline involving Llewelyn and his son, but I never once felt involved in that story arc. More often than not, the idea and written presentation of Christmasland was just off putting.

One aspect of Christmasland that is effective, however, is the artwork by Charles Paul Wilson III. I may not have liked the story, but Wilson has visually created a distinct, nightmarish world. Plus, any artist who puts in a Jason Voorhees cameo deserves praise. Note: There is an art gallery at the back of the graphic novel that contains work by Charles Paul Wilson III and, yes, even the legendary Gabriel Rodriguez.

March 23, 2015 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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