Pullbox Reviews: Black Monday Murders

Black Monday Murders (Image)

Writer Jonathan Hickman

Artist Tomm Coker

@jhickman @imagecomics @tommcoker @seanpphillips

By Chris Keefe

Black Monday Murders (Image, 2016) is turning out to be one of the best reads of 2016/17.  It is a dark little journey with noirish art, respectfully gory, and worth the trip.

Written by Jonathan Hickman in his usual obtuse style and drawn by Tomm Coker,

who has always been good, but takes a gigantic step forward on this book.

Black Monday Murders is a very creepy look at the secret world of magic behind the world’s largest financial institutions and families.  Sounds a bit dry on the surface, but it is the book’s reliance on realism that makes this book that much more creepy.

Part of what makes the book intriguing is we know just enough about how things work, but not really how they work.  It is a dangerous path to walk when writing because you can get too caught up in withholding information so the story gets boring, like risk/reward in video games, if it is too easy you get bored but also if it is too hard you get bored.  Hickman for the first 5 issues has found that sweet spot where I can’t put the book down or wait for the next issues.  His scenes are so well crafted sometimes I don’t completely care that I don’t know what is going on completely.  He’s brought just enough pieces into play to keep things interesting and moving forward.

Tomm Coker, I would guess, has always been a reference artist (like Sean Phillips), and because of that his art, in the past, can appear somewhat stiff, and his ink lines somewhat unnatural.  He has always been an A list artist in my opinion, but he has absolutely mastered the technique in the book, his storytelling is seamless, his line controlled but naturalistic, his blacks perfectly spotted.  “Spotting Blacks” is an art term referring to a pleasing balance between blacks and whites which draw the readers attention appropriately to the most important element in the frame.

Much like the whole series actually, metaphorically the blacks are perfectly spotted throughout every level of this project.

This is my favorite book right now, and will probably make it on the permanent shelf.

If you haven’t picked up BMM, the first trade “All Hail Mammon” came out in January and collects issues #1-4, the issues are also floating out there on Ebay for reasonable prices, I highly recommend you go grab them.

#jonathanhickman #tommcoker #blackmondaymurders #imagecomics #greatreads #supernatural #clivebarker #awesome #seanphillips #mammon

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