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Thursday, 25 March 2010

** Guest Post: Requiem by Pat Mills and Olivier Ledroit

Regular readers of this blog will know that Liz of My Favourite Books has written several guest posts for me in the last few months. Well, not to feel left out, it is now her husband Mark's turn to write about one of his favourite graphic novels.


The first thing that grabbed me about Requiem was the premise- Heinrich, who becomes the titular Requiem, awakes in the chaos of hell, reborn as a vampire for the sins he committed in life. Shaken by this realisation and the macabre splendour of his new reality, he stumbles across Otto, rescuing him from a gang of ghouls.

He’s taken under Otto’s proverbial wing in the dripping aftermath and begins his education and transformation into Requiem, Vampire Knight. But there’s a sliver of Heinrich that survives the brutal transformation, and gives his character the edge- the story is, amidst the unashamedly bloody violence and infernal intrigue, a quest for redemption, spiced with the subtle dark humour that fans have come to expect of Pat Mills.

Pat has certainly earned his epithet of ‘Grandfather of British Comics’ – from Charley’s War to Dredd and Slaine, his body of work is prodigious and wide ranging. Yet Requiem is bold and intriguing, exploring a fresh new perspective on Hell, purgatory, redemption and the Vampire mythos.

Olivier Ledroit’s art is sumptuous, a visual smorgasbord of Gothic delights, the likes of which seem to be all too few and far between in recent years, and the amount of detail lavished on it goes some way to justifying the gaps between the publication of the issues. But quite honestly, it’s worth the cover price by itself. It’s the perfect vehicle for a tale of vengeance, despair and redemption.

The two collections I read collected the first four of the eight issues to date, although there have rumours of a further four. If you’re looking for something a bit darker, a bit bloodier and a bit sexier, then you’re looking for Requiem.

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The problem with asking others to write about their favourite graphic novels, a book 'genre' that I am certainly no expert on, is that I keep on finding out about more books that I feel I should have read. As a result of this my Amazon wishlist is growing longer and longer. Cheers Mark for another great contribution from the house of My Favourite Books.

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