Writer & Artwork: Richard Corben
Publisher: Dark Horse
There is something very appealing with Richard Corben’s comics. Maybe it’s his way of telling a story; calm, haunting, dark with a great deal of sadness. Maybe it’s the artwork; solemn almost Botero-esque in their appearance with a way of expressing their feeling so they almost leap from the pages. It might also be that as a reader one is reminded of the days of Heavy Metal, both the magazine and the movie that entices or the lure of a world inspired by the likes of Poe, Lovecraft and Howard.
Rat God is released in the wake of the amazing Ragemoor, a Lovecraftian tale of a evil men and living stone, but is like his previous title Big Foot, in color. Corben’s art is often times amazing in black and white, if one is in doubt then a glance at the pages of Haunt of Horror is due, but the use of color in Rat God creates a vibrant tapestry of life that one would be hard pressed to find in other comics.
The opening issue introduces the young man Clark Elwood, very similar to H. P. Lovecraft both in countenance and attitude, who is driving on a dirt road towards the town of Lame Dog. He is looking for a woman, Kito Hontz, whom he met at Miskatonic University in legend haunted Arkham. On the road he meets her brother Chuk and they travel on together. Elwood is not a very pleasant figure and it is obvious that something has happened between him and Kito that makes him venture on this quest in the woods of New England.
Parallel to this the reader is treated to a tale of two natives being pursued by something sinister after having ventured where they should not have.
Rat God promises to be a tale honoring Lovecraft’s greatness as well as in a way criticizing his bigotry, but also following in his cultural footsteps. Corben’s artwork is beautiful and the story has a nice pace and the next four issues will hopefully prove to excite the reader.