Dark Tales of Victoriana – We Take a Retrospective Look at David Hitchcock’s Spring Heeled Jack

 

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It’s clearly the season for gothic tales by the fireside as the cold autumnal nights draw in. Which is why here at GYGO we’re enjoying delving into a mix of chilling comics and dark graphic novels which will make for perfect reading for the season.

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Friends of GYGO, Titan Publishing have a wealth of renowned horror and supernatural titles under their belts, many of which we’ll be covering in future months. But this month we take a retrospective look back at their fantastic slice of victoriana ‘Spring Heeled Jack, written and drawn by the very talented David Hitchcock.

 

No doubt you’ll have seen David’s work before in titles such as Gothic, Whitechapel Freak. Hitchcock’s gothic and macabre influence is evident thoughout with his own take on the classic legend of ‘Spring Heeled Jack’, the original Bogeyman. It’s clear the publication is a real passion with an impressive amount of depth within it’s 128 pages. Set amidst the classic 1800s SHj follows the tale of Sir Arthur Rackham, who’s quest to hunt the captor of his beloved wife leads him out of the smoking rooms and libraries he’s more accustomed too, and out into the murky backstreets of Victorian London. A pursuit which will lead him far away from his homely comforts and high atop the smokey rooftops confronting a menagerie of characters of ill intent. Without giving too much away there’s elements of classic Sci-fi, and characters and settings from gothic literature which will keep any fan of the period firmly glued to each page.

 

What undoubtedly is the most striking aspect of SHj is the lush, intrinsically detailed artwork. The scenes high above London are really spectacular and you’ll no doubt spend hours pouring over the attention paid to each spread. It’s quite simply breathtaking.

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The book is published akin to a classic annual giving the whole publication a real seal of quality. It’s also refreshing to view graphic novel panels in such a large format for a change!

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The story has a great mix of characters and settings, with a real feel of a modern full length penny dreadful. Though the story comes to something of an abrupt ending with no clear resolution we can only that this will be eventually resolved with a conclusion. It has to be said the energy in the panel work is superb and really sets for a high tempo Victoriana romp.

 

All in SHJ is a fantastic graphic novel well worth diving into, especially  this time of year. Make sure you get your copy from Titan

http://titan-comics.com/c/142-springheeled-jack-bookstore-cover/