cover image Abomination & Other Tales

Abomination & Other Tales

Todd Livingston, Author, Robert Tinnell, Author, Neil Vokes, Illustrator Image Comics $15.99 (191p) ISBN 978-1-58240-661-9

A nightmarish ""cowboys and vampires"" Wild West setting comes alive as a bona fide horror universe in this fine anthology. Novella ""Abomination"" opens with a grisly tale of re-animation and sideshow freaks, told with an ample supply of black ink. Twenty-two short stories follow, of varying effectiveness. Paul Maybury's ""A Man, with a Stake in His Hand"" recalls the wiry, angular line art of Gahan Wilson, while Vokes and Tommy Castillo's ""Night Creatures"" is almost balletlike with a zombie story revealed in jagged, angular panels that feel violent by their very design. Adam Burton and Adrian Salmon offer a chiseled, Kafkaesque view in ""Cotton Fly,"" while Michael Avon Oeming's ""Von Hellsing"" mixes dark humor with some wildly inventive play between white and black. The sole misfire, Livingston and Scott Keating's ""The Usual Suspects,"" is too dark for its own good. Tying the stories together is the character of Cotton Coleridge, ""lightning rod"" for the ""bad supernatural,"" a wiry and enigmatic antihero with a mysterious past and a face that is alternately cruel and kind. This very satisfying collection is set in a world that feels instantly populated with an endless number of macabre stories.