Comic Spotlight: THE MARQUIS: DANSE MACABRE
Guy Davis’ book The Marquis: Danse Macabre is nothing short of absolutely phenomenal. The writing is superb; nothing about it is on the nose, trite, or needless. The art submerses you in this fantastic Gothic world out of time and space. It is simple, yet incredibly detailed and can absorb you in a way that Otomo’s Akira did. The book is reminiscent of Moore’s V for Vendetta, and is less preachy. Which is a strange concept because it has to do with religion, which is very apt to come across as vexatious noise that berates the ear.
The general plot of the book is a man, Vol de Galle (a soldier from the crusades and ex-inquisitor for the church), has a holy vision and is charged to send escaped demons that have possessed men back to hell. Of course, there is a run in with the church, this world’s central government, and the men who have been possessed get murdered, but I find that often the simplest plots are often the best ones crafted. The character design for the demons in The Marquis are terrifying, the monsters are horribly marred versions of men that gradual grow more and more grotesque as the book goes on. The use of black and white in the book helps to separate objects from one another and make the complexity of the art understandable. This could be easily a tough book to look at, however Davis transcends this difficulty without having to resort to toning or washes. It reminds me of a different kind of etching that Bernie Wrightson has perfected.
The world is an alternate version of ours, but if the Vatican had obtained ultimate control of the world during its ascension and mutated itself into a dystopian fascist regime. All citizens must wear masks and attend confessional daily. However, in these confessionals the world we find is overrun with sin and sinners. I got the feeling of a trade off between 1984 and Brave New World. Though the book was a little hard to navigate at first, since its purpose and characters aren’t defined until page 6-8, it is the perfect way to begin the book. What we are introduced to is a man who has been driven into madness and questions the validity of his visions. The book arcs very well, like a snowball rolling downhill, ending with one of the best endings I’ve read in a very long time. In short, go buy the book, then head over to the sock store and buy some socks, and when you go home read the book – and replace the socks that this book is about to blow off your stinky feet.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.