Comic Review: Harker – The Book of Solomon

Harker: The Book of Solomon
Roger Gibson & Vince Danks

Comics they’re all about the superheroes aren’t they? Whizz, bang, crash, whoo! Of course we have to have a bit of angst for the pretentious goth-wannabes. If it’s not supers than at least the fantastic be it Judge Dredd or Sandman – an inkpot and unlimited special effects – that’s the strong point of the medium. Isn’t it?

Harker takes a .454 Casull* to such lazy notions and blows them to smithereens. Except of course, Harker would never be that crass, it’s true to it’s genre the character based British police procedural that plays – maybe even flirts with the conventions but is utterly recognisable as the real deal. Harker would be more likely to floor such lazy notions with some dread pan wit or at a push strong arm them into a panda car. In any event that’d be the end of them.

A pair of dry, sardonic, laconic and utterly British coppers solve serial murders with help from a forensic specialist who gives as good as she gets. Some of one-liners also led me to burst out loud laughing on a crowded intercity back from Leeds. The plot of this little number, the first trade, flirts with Dennis Wheatly and some of the conventions of the Morse with some painfully upper middleclass suspects.

And it’s beautiful. On initial flick through the black and white art work left me a little under whelmed with its simplicity. I am however a fool and my first impressions are not to be trusted – I find a fair number of artists these days can draw but can’t tell a story for toffee. On the reading Harker I appreciated how the spacing, framing and general composition helped the story flow. At no points was I left wondering which panel was next or confused by an unnatural jump in space or time. Neither was I left wondering which character was which no matter what the angle. The bits I of London I do now in the story (er..okay the Museum Tavern,) are absolutely recreated spot on.

In short it is good storytelling sequential artwork tied to likeable characters in an enjoyable story. It shows the power of the medium in an underdone maybe even unique genre in the comic medium and strikes a triumphant six**.

Have a look at the free to download and tongue in cheek taster at the link below and tell me if I’m talking rubbish: http://www.arielpress.com/downloads.html

*That’s a BIG hand gun.
** Out of six, a cricket analogy – unusual in a comic review but what the hell.

GS Reviewer: Andrew

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