Monday, June 18, 2012

Today on the Hardcore Review, I tackle a book from across the pond. Markosia Publishing put out an amazing tale called White Knuckle. Written by Cy Dethan, Illustrated by Valia Kapadai and lettered by Nic Wilkinson, White Knuckle is the tale of a serial strangler called, The Gripper, who was feared more than three decades ago. Years past his prime, Seth Rigal has kept tabs on the daughter of one of his countless victims, Michelle Brookes. When she was just a child, Michelle witnessed Rigal murdering her mother. And it has stayed with her ever since. Michelle's son, Neil is school aged, a bit older than she when her mother was taken by The Gripper's steel-like hands. The writing on this yarn was spot on. It was equal parts psychotic, like David Fincher's Se7en and human interest about a man trying to reclaim some part of his humanity after all these years and all those victims. Dethan does an amazing job with pacing this story, as things get even deeper than even Seth Rigal was thinking. Valia's artwork is right on target. Using mostly a warm, but subdued palatte, she pulls off the look this book needs with the intesity and calming moments that are required. White Knuckle has a great look, and she is able to keep it very consistent throughout. And that's something that is very hard to do, especially when you have to divide the book from muderous rampages, horrid halluncinations, flashbacks, newspaper clippings and quite touching moments between a mother and son. And Valia makes this look all too easy. In a world where there are so many parts to the creative team, quite often team members get over looked. While lettering is not as flashy as writing or illustrating, it is an integral part of the visual medium of comic books. Nic Wilkinson pulls off the lettering portion of the book with seeming ease. I have lettered all of the comics I have self published, and it is not an easy thing to do. When you work closely with the illustrator and writer it makes the job a bit easier. Nic's lettering left nothing obscured visually. And her choice of word balloons in some of the more creepy portions of the book left me wanting more. Sometimes we fail to appreciate the team as a whole. But this creative team truly was greater than the sum of their parts. The whole book from start to finish is a lot of fun to read. You know, if you're into the maccabre. But I love horror and I love suspense. And this title has it all. I was pleasantly surprised to find all of the creative team had signed my copy and it arrived really quickly. It got to me within about a week of ordering it online. All three of these amazing story tellers are on facebook. Valia is also on deviant Art and Cy has a blog or two roaming around the world wide web. I am happy to say this is my very first international comic book. I've gotten some from my folks when they travel abroad, but this one is in English, which is sadly the only language I know fluently. Check out White Knuckle, you won't be dissappointed. Now for the grade to this monsterous work. And I mean monsterous in as pure a form as I can. It's a tremendous read and it deserves a fitting grade. Keeping with my last review I am going to stick with wrestling finishing maneuvers to grade White Knuckle. And this finisher fits the bill. Performed by one of the best wrestlers of the past decade and a half, and man who has traveled the globe, Christopher Daniels, aka The Fallen Angel, like the creative trio behind White Knuckle makes this look all too easy too. It's called the Best Moonsault ever, and without a doubt, it is. Springing from the canvas, Daniels bounces off the middle turnbuckle to the top rope, all in one motion and then hits a perfect moonsault to finish his opponent.