Saturday, August 23, 2014

Literature Review #1: The Gathering Anthology- Paranormal Romance

For the first time, this blog will focus on a non-movie.  Between novels and film lay graphic novels.  Today's entry will focus on one from my friends at GrayHaven Comics ( ).  Today's review looks at the 28th issue, "Paranormal Romance."  Perfect for a Valentine's Day blog, as far as this blog is concerned, romance is always in the air....especially if blood, gore, and the paranormal are present.  After reading the entire 28th issue, I kept thinking of Edgar Allan Poe.  Poe knew, that like haunted houses, graveyards, and and romance exist in a territory ripe for horror and the macabre.
To love and to be loved, we all desire it.  However, there is a down side to love which, at least subconsciously, horrifies us.  Our mortality and proclivity to be bored and to change, often spells doom for nature's finest gift.  This work capitalizes on these fears as we meet a series of vivid characters battling the macabre and scary aspects of mortal infatuation.  Poe would be proud.  The authors here effectively use metaphors such as werewolves (or shapeshifters), zombies, vampires, spirits, etc. in order deliver the horror. The mortality of our lives feeds good horror, however, in "Paranormal Romance," the mortality of our seemingly perfect love is exploited.  

At times sad.  At times humorous.  At times provocative, "Paranormal Romance" delivers in so many ways to the discerning horror fan.  In one of my favorite stories in this set, a little girl's love for tree in the forest turns into a deep statement.  "Lost Souls" written by Lisa Harrison and Matt Watson, is sure to tug at your heart strings.  The final images of this tearjerker imply that at the end of life, all traditional love and romance proved ephemeral, however the purity of a child's desire remained.  The words may not have spelled this out, however, as with all effective graphic novels, the illustrations are worth 1,000 thoughts.  In another of my favorites, "It's All in the Moon- Meet Me at the River" (by Attilla Kiss and art by Chris Dixon), the real horror is not the werewolves, but the potential monster our loving relationships can turn into.  All of the stories are intriguing and symbolic of so much.   

Kudos to publisher Andrew Goletz, editor Roy Goldfield, and for production Erica J. Heflin.  These folks and their team have delivered some deep horror.  The writers of these stories are also to be congratulated, and I look forward to their future endeavors.  In addition to the website given above, follow these peeps on Twitter at @gatheringcomic.  I enjoyed "Paranormal Romance" a great deal, and even though each story is relatively short, they all could be turned into full length films...that's how deep they were.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank You Christopher for the in depth review.
    Your kind words serve as the leveling balance for all the horror and romance found in the book.