173. The Iron Spirit by Steve Niles

The Iron Spirit by Steve Niles. Art by Scott Morse (US) - (Canada)
Criminal Macabre: Cal McDonald Mystery (Graphic Novel #7)

Pages: 34
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jun. 24, 2012
First Published: Sep. 25, 2012
Publisher: Dark Horse
Genre: graphic novel, horror, ghost story, paranormal, detective, picturebook
Rating: 5/5

First sentence: "It was 3 a.m. when I heard the knock on the door of my Studio City sh*t hole."

Publisher's Summary: A haunted veteran leads monster hunter Cal McDonald to a creepy subterranean military base where mad science experiments were conducted on US soldiers. Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) takes his occult detective into an exciting new format with Eisner winner Scott Morse of Pixar and TR!CKSTER fame! Published as an oversized board book hardcover at 9"x12" with rounded corners.

Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

Reason for Reading: I love horror stories and I love detective stories.  Putting the two together like this reminded me of "Angel" and my interest was piqued.

Have you ever read something by an author you've never heard of and suddenly feel like you've discovered a secret world someone, somewhere (THEY) have been hiding it from you.  This is how I felt while I was reading "Iron Spirit".  I just couldn't believe it was this good.  An absolutely fantastic, creepy, scary ghost/horror story on an equal footing with the King himself.  I look up the author and he has a whole series of Cal McDonald stories under a series called Criminal Macabre: both graphic novels and text novels as well as short stories, plus he's written other stuff too.  Why haven't I heard of this guy before!  This illustrated short story, perhaps more accurately called a picture book for adults than a graphic novel, is a superb little story.  Even though this is my first introduction to Cal, the story introduced him to me very well, gave me some insight to his character, enough to understand him and the book has me itching to read more Cal McDonald.

I also loved the art in this book.  Line drawings splashed with watercolour, using mostly cool colours, blues, violets which tend to keep the atmosphere eerie.  Watch my reviews as you will certainly be seeing more books by Steve Niles here!


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