Summer of Indie: Comic Review Roisin Dubh 1#

18 year Roisin Sheridan is a progressive young woman with ideas of woman’s votes and a career on the stage when she comes against in contact with an ancient freshly awakened horror.Rosing Dubh is a new Irish comic starting a story of the undead, service and vengeance against a time of social (and ultimately political change) in Ireland. Celtic mythology and the fin de seicle period give a fresh take on the common tropes and the delivery is excellent. The title is Irish for Black Rose.

The execution of this story is excellent. The art work is black and white, heavy on black-space which give it a noir or early hammer feel which real works with the subject matter. The character design is very strong – for example Roision in a young woman and the temptation to go cheesecake must always be there but we get a very well realised, very real, if attractive looking woman with a very expressive face.  And there is some lovely cheesecake imagery in the dark ages art so it’s not that Stephen Daly can’t do cheesecake, he definitely can. This then supports the ‘acting’ in the art which again is very strong. I particularly enjoyed the cheeky Priest in the flashback scenes – he only get’s two panels and no dialogue but his expressions perfectly mirror the text.

Turning to the script by Murah McHugh from plotting by Murah McHugh and Robert Curley – the plot moves at a fair old pace. The dialogue is excellent – especially between Roision and her parents where it could have easily feel into stereotypes. This works very well with the later events of the story to deliver a real emotional punch. There are effectively two origin stories being told her – one for the heroine and the villain but the story builds from action and emotional connection to the characters rather than feeling like a pure info-dump. The ending also leaves a decent dollop of mystery and the promise of action at the very start of the next issue to keep one hooked.

I am sucker for turn of the century material anyway as a Holmesian and a history buff. I am also a sucker for the Irish background given the close historic ties my home region of Merseyside has with Ireland. Finally I love hammer and fresh takes on a hammer feel –and you could pitch this comic (and I think you’d do it a disservice) as ‘Turn of the Century-Celtic-mythology-Buffy’.  That might be a bit glib but it does give an idea of the fresh direction it takes it in. I am interested to see if there is any political background to the raising of the undead and will look forward to getting this in a trade (but only because I don’t do floppies as a rule.)

GS Rating: 5/5

GS Reviewer: clarkythecruel

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