by J. Barton Mitchell, Dean Kotz (Boom!, 2010)

Edgar Allan Poe has lost his beloved wife Virginia, and with her his inspiration to write. Grieving, and perhaps a little bit mad, he shuns help and wraps himself in his woe.

But then a mystery, encountered with his constable brother William, sparks Poe's fiery imagination, and with Dupin-like precision he analyzes the clues until he comes to an unspeakable conclusion about a series of murders and the unholy end to which they lead.

Poe, a new graphic novel written by J. Barton Mitchell and illustrated by Dean Kotz, is a brilliant exploration of what might have been. The tagline reads: "He created horror. Find out how horror created him." And how fitting a description that is.

This is no simple killer. The Poe brothers uncover an unspeakable plot to challenge death itself, and along the way Edgar reawakens his own imagination. Before the story's end, he will find inspiration for many great works to follow, from stories like "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Pit & the Pendulum" to poems such as "The Raven" and "Annabelle Lee."

Poe is one of the more inventive graphic novels I've read in some time. Mitchell and Kotz make a formidable team. Let's hope they produce more work of this quality soon.

review by
Tom Knapp

31 July 2010

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