Thursday, October 10, 2013

After Houdini Issue #1 by Jeremy Holt & Kevin Zeigler

written by Jeremy Holt
art by Kevin Zeigler

Jeremy Holt described this story to me as "A semi-biographical action/adventure that follows the estranged son of Harry Houdini, who— besides being the world’s most famous magician—is a covert spy for American and British Intelligence in the lead up to WWI." I cannot put it more succinctly than that so allow me to expand...

Frightening forces are at work in the political world and begin to center around Josef Houdini. Possessing some magical talents of his own, he escapes the confines of prison only to be pulled into the realms of mysticism. I get the feeling that the very fabric of reality is being pulled away around Houdini as some part of his father’s powerful past begins to wrap itself around him. In the story, we get to see an ominous, skeletal form which imparts cryptic information to our hero. I absolutely love this scene.

I think my favorite part about this premiering issue, is the fact that I actually WANT to read the next installment. I WANT to know where this is going. The mystery Holt cultivates through his script has gripped me. Zeigler creates the perfect backdrop for the story. I instantly felt at home in the macabre environment. The dark panels develop an eerie atmosphere that suits the story precisely. Whenever I think of 19th Century magicians, I imagine this gothic ambiance. I can’t help but be reminded of one of my favorite French graphic novels “Miss Don’t Touch Me” when I look at Zeigler’s work. The backdrop mirrors that French style of illustration which exaggerates differences in human form. As a result, each of the characters drawn are distinctly unique in appearance. 

Please check back for my two-part interview with Jeremy Holt and Kevin Zeigler this month as we discuss the development of After Houdini both past and present.