Leah Moore and John Reppion’s graphic adaptations of stories by M.R. James continue in this second volume, reimagining another four of the noted writer’s tales in comic-book form. Of this quartet – Number 13, Count Magnus, The Treasure of Abbot Thomas, and Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad – it’s the latter that is arguably the most famous, and many horror devotees may remember the 1968 TV adaptation featuring Michael Hordern that worked extremely well, retaining the atmosphere of the source text.
We’re pleased to say that this book does just the same; the husband and wife writing team have adapted each story with care, ensuring James’ atmospherics remain intact, while using the visual medium of comics to create some of their own. Number 13 is particularly effective, with light and shadow used to great effect, bringing a new clarity to the story.
All the artists involved – George Kambadais, Abigail Larson, Al Davison, and Meghan Hetrick – have produced first-class work for this volume, each with differing styles and colour palettes that suit the individual stories perfectly, ensuring each page is a delight to behold. Even the brightest of them is suggestive of something lurking in the corner, while characters are brought to vivid life and embedded with appropriate personality, making the reader cheer them on or rub hands with glee, knowing what’s in store for them.
Every contributor to this volume should be applauded. It’s no mean feat to adapt one of the genre’s greatest writers into a format that could so easily destroy any suspense, but Moore and Reppion have chosen wisely in what to include, keeping everything that makes the stories so memorable. Reading the fiction of M.R. James is an absolute delight, the advantages of which include being able to imagine your own monster. Each reader will have a different vision of what creatures and characters will look like – fear is deeply personal - and, in some instances, the reveal of the ‘man in the suit’ can cause great disappointment. Not so with this book, indeed, having the monster revealed has never been so much fun, and here’s hoping a third compilation is on the way soon.
GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY 2 / AUTHOR: M. R. JAMES / ADAPTED BY: LEAH MOORE, JOHN REPPION / ARTISTS: GEORGE KAMBADAIS, ABIGAIL LARSON, AL DAVISON, MEGHAN HETRICK / PUBLISHER: SELFMADEHERO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW