When the kindest woman on earth allows herself one selfish wish, it is enough to conceive the most dangerous woman the world has ever seen. This classic fantasy tale of good versus evil, mother versus daughter, as Virtue gets Shame, the child she wished for, and has to deal with the consequences of releasing this powerful woman to a world ill-prepared for her campaign of evil.
There are a lot of great looking comics out there, but Shame truly takes the cake. John Bolton is regarded as one of the top painters working in comics with some of the most intricate and detailed artwork you’ll see in comics period. Shame gives him an opportunity to truly cut loose as he brings together all the elements that have made his work so enjoyable in the past. His melding of his photorealistic human characters with the more horrific supernatural elements is particularly effective. Shame and the nymphs who are protecting her under Virtue’s orders are quite the contrast to the terrifying Shadows sent be her corrupt father Slur and also a great demonstration of the skill at depicting horror that Bolton has accumulated in his years working on horror comics. His choice of colours is also flawless as it is a great aid at establishing the tone and emotions experienced by the characters (which in this comic is quite important). He also manages to capture the facets that are featured in each character to an amazing degree. Virtue in both her forms possesses a serene quality that enhances the kindness that defines her character, Slur is of course as disgusting as you’d expect and Shame – being their daughter – possesses facets from both of them which helps enhance the character’s complex nature.
Great comic art needs to come from a great story though, and Lovern Kindzierski has crafted a great complex story that will both excite and disturb you at times. The main highlight is obviously the fractured mother/daughter relationship between Virtue and Shame with Shame going to particularly disturbing lengths to get back at her mother for her isolated childhood and Virtue’s predicament knowing that her daughter has to be stopped at all costs. Virtue’s human companion Merritt also adds a great human perspective to the twisted good vs evil battle taking place.
Shame is a great fantasy story and also features some of the best art you’ll ever see in comics. If you did not catch it in its original three-part format, this collection (that’s also packed with extras, notes from the creators and a preview to the upcoming sequel) is the perfect way to experience it.
The Shame Trilogy is published 27 September by Renegade Arts Entertainment
9781987825046 h/b £22.99
Post by Leo
Read a guest post by Kindzierski here