Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Black Forest

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Black Forest (2004) Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell, Neil Vokes

We (or more rightly Michael) picked this up at the Bookshelf in early December. Robert Tinnell lives in West Virginia–apparently relatively close, as Jim talked about calling him to bring by more copies. Michael read it right away, but I decided to wait until I needed something short to read.

This story was not at all what I was expecting. The Black Forest evoked, for me, Eastern European folktales. And the vamipric creature on the cover made me think of dark fantasy. Thus, I was not expecting a supernatural World War I war story. (This is probably a good time to admit that I typically ignore or at best scan back cover copy. Yes, I regularly judge books by their cover. Following that, I look for positive blurbs by authors I know.)

That aside, once I got over my surprise, I enjoyed the story. Though I have to admit that it was strange to read a war story where the enemy Germans were not Nazis. It was rather refreshing in fact.

The art was also interesting–excluding the cover, the book was completely black and white. I liked both the starkness and the darkness of the art like this, as well as the fact that gruesome and bloody in black and white I can handle far more easily than gruesome and bloody in full color. In other words, this story might have bothered me if it was in color.

I have to admit, though, that I found one of the main characters, Jack, extremely annoying. Luckily, he got a lot less annoying by the end of the book, but I still didn’t care to much for him, hero or no.

I found the female characters interestingly drawn. Although they (of course) had huge breasts and tiny waists, they were still in some ways more realistic than many female characters. They may have breasts, but they also have bellies and thighs. Kinda neat actually.

So it was an interesting story, and I liked the fact that it was in black and white, so I’m looking forward to reading the second volume, which Michael also picked up.
Rating: 7/10

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