“RAGEMOOR” is a four-part story published by Dark Horse Comics that will surprise you with a fully stoked horror fest. Strangers arrive on a dark and stormy night to a mysterious castle but they need not focus on its inhabitants just yet. They should worry first about the castle itself!
This one is special, brought you by the team of writer Jan Strnad and artist Richard Corben. The following quote says it all:
“Richard Corben and Jan Strnad are like the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee of post-EC monster comics, responsible for classics like The Last Voyage of Sindbad and Mutant World. To see the two of them back together and a project like this is just exciting as hell.” —Mike Mignola (Hellboy, B.P.R.D.)
A classic writing assignment is to write about an inanimate object as if it were alive, specifically a dwelling. This is supposed to help the writer better see the world and all its possibilities. It can go something like this: Go from general to specific: A city, then a street, then a building and then a room. In “Ragemoor,” we have a castle that very much fits this assignment with the very castle being alive. At night, it moans and cries. By the next morning, there’s been a change: a hallway is longer or a room is larger. And if the castle should feel threatened, well, it will have to deal with the threat decisively.
The art grabs you right away. With a castle as the lead character, “Ragemoor” is up to the challenge with inventive points of view and attention to detail and texture. A fellow artist would have a hard time attempting to swipe from these panels. The castle is quite a sight, especially as it juts out from a high cliff. But that’s due to the fact, of course, that it keeps growing! And then there’s the human characters who are nicely paced throughout.
The only two people we know for sure that live in the castle are Herbert and his butler, Bodrick. There may be other servants, but as Bodrick puts it, “they prefer to dwell in the shadows.” On this particular night, Herbert has allowed visitors to stay for dinner. They claim to be relations and Herbert has no reason to not believe them. He’s prone to distraction as it is. They claim to be his long lost uncle and a cousin. One is a portly bumbling old gent. The other is an attractive young woman who has no qualms about flirting with Herbert. For his part, Herbert simply wants to warn the two that they have no idea of what they’re letting themselves in for. He comes right out and tells them the fantastic history of the castle and we are transported back and see how it was literally created from blood, sweat and tears, especially blood. The visitors can even see for themselves numerous skeletons embedded within the walls. But they’re so tired from their journey. And then there’s that nasty storm outside. Alright, these two will have to spend the night–but they’ve been warned.
This is a great read. The first issue alone will reward you with multiple readings and provides a nice stand-alone chapter. This is a 32-page comic priced at $3.50 and arrives on March 21. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics.