Box 13 – A New Standard for Modern Noir!

Box 13 TPB (Red 5 / Comixology – Gallaher / Ellis /  Parr / Brown)

Investigative author Dan Holiday has spent the last several years of his life researching the secrets behind the MKULTRA project. His latest book has brought him a degree of notoriety around the country and around the world.  And, during his recent book tour – Dan discovers something that will change his life forever. Join him as he learns what lurks inside Box 13.

This trade collects the first eight issues of the digital comic of the same name, which happens to also have been the first contest winner, which is actually loosely based on the radio program from the 40’s.  Anyone who is a fan of serial programs knows that the fiction character Dan Holiday has had a rich sixty year history that has spawned a great amount of enjoyment and fandom. And as far as I am concerned this project by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis is the shining capstone of that history.

Box 13 is a conspiracy-driven, noir-styled series involving secret government organizations, mind-control experiments and a sleeper agent fighting for control of his own existence.  Peter Gallaher provides Box13 with an incredible core framework that has focus, direction and enough plot twists to keep any mystery fan happy.  The clues are provided for the reader to follow along with Holiday as he pieces his life together, they are expertly placed and are actually much more appreciated during the second and subsequent readings.

Box 13 as a project seems like it was designed for the artistic styling of Steve Ellis and Mike Parr.  You can’t really pull off a well-done noir-ish tale without the art team having mastery over using the right amount of ink, color and shade.  In a book where ink and shade are the predominant characteristics of the art, there is actually a very fine line in the use of these elements and the reader being between “this is dark, mysterious and sexy” and “What is that? I have know idea what’s going on”.  The Eliis / Parr team-up do indeed master these elements and give Box 13 a slick look that highly compliments the story and does nothing short of  nearly demand that the reader not stop and move to the next page.

This 124 page TPB is easily a one-sitting reading, in fact I don’t think someone could put it down in the middle. And at a cheap $13 price tag, Box 13 will give you a much better return on your money than almost anything else this weekend.  Available at your locally owned comic shop on the 16th!

Grade: a delightfully yummy A

*Diamond Code*: MAR101130

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Updated: June 8, 2010 — 11:05 am

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