Finally, after months and months of delay, yours truly has finally managed to pen down his first review / article for Comic Addicts. Until now, I was just a member in an advisory capacity with zero contribution to his name, apart from minor suggestions here and some minor suggestions there.
Despite me being pressed for time, Were House Vol. 1 seemed like the perfect book for my first review. Drawn by the Gifted Mr. Goel, with storied penned by Daring Mr. Dhar, Devious Mr. Das and Talented Ms. Taneja – How could I resist? Well… I couldn’t, so let’s get down to the point.
Were House Volume 1 – Cover
Our young Master Chugh has already covered most of the story related part quite effectively so I won’t touch on them. Instead, I would like to draw your attention, dear Readers, to the theme, style, interpretation of the stories and the way they intertwine with respect to the entire book as a whole.
The book starts with a tale set in the Past, a story that takes place in Kashmir many years ago.
Guardian Angel – Story of the young Were Snow Leopard, by Akshay Dhar
Akshay Dhar sets the pace of Were House Vol. 1 with Guardian Angel, which details a saga of a young boy, who lost his family and was protected by a Were Snow Leopard, which takes him on a path that changes his life completely.
Guardian Angel is an excellent story which has a slightly slow start but catches up after the first 2-3 pages and takes you through a fantastic journey which is intermingled with Indian Mythology, Hindu Goddesses of War, Magic and the Supernatural.
The teacher recuperating after the big fight
The story is more of a saga than a one-shot. It starts with a long monologue and picks up the pace once the boy and the lady Were Snow Leopard start the training. By the end, the story picks up a wonderful pace and the plot becomes very interesting and gripping and I was literally on the edge of my bean bag, but as Nish mentioned in his review, when the story ends, it leaves you hanging with a slight sense of longing. It will leave you craving for more!!!
Guardian Angel has a huge potential of turning into its own separate series, and carry our young protagonist on many more adventures and tales of excitement and magic and sorcery and bravery.
All in all, it is a very good story, that gives the Were House a great start.
Mousetrap – A housewife with maid problems, by Soumya Das
From the Past, Soumya Das transitions the book to the Present with Mousetrap.
This young and talented writer delivers a power-paced quirky tale of a working wife who has problem keeping a steady house maid and whose husband has turned into an anti-social recluse post a genetic accident or sorts at his work. She decides to visit a psychiatrist and discuss her problems and boy, some problem it was!
I wouldn’t tell you the end, you will have to buy the book to read it and find it yourself. And trust me, this story is best read. It just can’t be told verbally or just with letters. You need the medium of art for maximum impact.
Soumya’s tale starts normally and feels very average until the penultimate page. The Earthworm Jim of a story suddenly sheds off its skin and turns into a veritable Anaconda! Clark Kent enters a telephone booth and flies out as Superman! The whole plot is turned on its head and leaves you with a slight chill, even in the month of May, in Delhi, and that my friend, is no mean feat to achieve.
Her husband was a blody rat!
Nish was disappointed with the start of the story, but as I said, when you come down to the last 2-3 pages, it makes it all worth the wait.
This fantastic spooky tale of horror serves as the perfect medium to connect the past and the future.
From this strange tale of a not-so-common working wife in the present day and age, Shweta Taneja vroooms Were House towards the Future. A not so much of a Jetpack and Flying Cars and Personal Teleporters future, but a dark, depraved, dystopic tomorrow, as depicted in It’s a Dog’sDeath!
It’s a Dog’s Death – A tale from a dystopian future, by Shweta Taneja
Shweta builds up the story by giving us a year by year description of the life cycle of a Super Computer who slowly takes over the world and leaves mankind in shambles. The tale introduces us to a young girl, who is caught between some ferocious Were Dhols (Yes you heard that right. Dhols are wild red dogs –no werewolves for all you Twilight fans here). She is saved by our protagonist, who despite his hunger and pitiful state, takes a liking to the girl and declares himself as her savior and protector – a guardian angel, if you must.
He fights his friends, clan and even the clan leaders only to realize that everything comes with a price, even love and compassion. To his chagrin, everyone around him is trying to eat the kid, but he is determined to keep her safe, for she has awakened a fatherly emotion in him.
Then Clan Elders – Dhol Panchayat
As soon as the introduction is done with, the story catches pace and takes us through a dark desolate world, which, sadly, looks all too familiar and not so much fantasy if we continue to play with nature as we are doing today. She moves the story with the ease of an expert juggler and at the crescendo she lets all the cards fall, collapsing the entire fort, shocking you with the last panel of the story.
It’s a Dog’s Death is a fantastic work – edgy and gripping and a very satisfying end to a well compiled anthology of horror stories.
Vivek could not have asked for better writers to launch his first book than our tri of horror masters who will enthrall you, grip you, excite and entice you, and leave you gasping for MORE!
The art work is excellent, as expected, several readers think that Black and White tone does not seem to be the ideal platform for delivering these stories, but B&W gives it a very dark tone, that might have been difficult to capture in a full color mode. It would have been interesting to see a little Frank Miller’s Sin City type black and white, with more shadows and clear cut art. Maybe we can ask Mr. Goel to give it a try in one of his upcoming stories. After all if we fans can’t request, who else can, eh? J
On the whole – the art work is brilliant and hard hitting. I like the B&W medium a lot, so I enjoyed it particularly. Reminded me of those classic Tales from the Crypt type anthology of horror! Great work you guys at Holy Cow!
To sum it up, it’s a great book to buy and keep. Especially as it marks the beginning of Holy Cow! Entertainment, which is a company that will create many such marvels in the coming future. Mark my words, 5 years down the line; it will be neck to neck as a contender for the slot of India’s finest publishing house. In fact, it might happen a lot quicker than 5 years J
Stay tuned for Ravanayan – coming in just 5 more weeks!
Peace & Mayhem!