Musicals have the power to connect with people, whether it be through song or the subject matter of the performance. Some musicals shine a light on the darker side of humanity, which is the case with Corrido de la Sangre, performed by the Tiger Lillies. The band, considered to be the innovators of Brechtian punk cabaret, are known for their macabre lyrics and content. The musical took place at HOME in Manchester, and here are my thoughts on what was a haunting performance.
Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series has been one of the exciting original stories of 2018, with its focus on blaxploitation and political upheaval in 1970s Detroit. The momentum continues to build in issue three, as Elena Abbott looks to unravel a mystery that’s becoming increasingly supernatural. The story picks up directly from the second issue, with Abbott trying to escape a murderous centaur that’s determined to cut her investigation short.
In the modern day, technology is a common part of every day life, to the point that many people would be lost without it. Social media is a major presence, connecting everyone at all times, though it can be a double-edged sword. What would happen if your privacy was invaded and you were watched 24/7 by the kind of technology that you placed your faith in? That question forms the basis of Stefan Gutternigh’s The Common Good. The cyberpunk comic is set in 2035, where a totalitarian world government regulates the lives of its citizens by monitoring them. Themes of isolation, loss of privacy and societal manipulation are explored in a chilling tale. Gutternigh sent a copy of The Common Good to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
Some of the most interesting stories feature strong POC protagonists, which is why I’ve enjoyed reading Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series, which features tough as nails reporter Elena Abbott. Set in 1970s Detroit, Ahmed’s comic weaves together occult and noir themes to create a political thriller with memorable characters. Abbott #2 picks up from where the first issue started and it’s safe to say there’s a mystery that needs to be solved.
The desire to earn more money is felt by many people, whether they want to become successful or afford new things. Currency makes the world go round and it could be argued that money is the root of all evil, but what if money was the root of all power for some? What if the urge to accumulate more wealth became a visceral need to dominate your fellow man? Such questions form the basis of Jonathan Hickman’s The Black Monday Murders Vol 1: All Hail, God Mammon. Money and blood go hand in hand and no price is too high for the characters of this dark and disturbing graphic novel.
Fairytales are one of the oldest forms of storytelling being passed down from generation to generation. This ties into folklore and how it can influence entire communities. It’s why I’m always interested in reading stories that are inspired by fairytales and Eric Powell’s Hillbilly series is a great example. Hillbilly: Volume 2 continues the exploits of supernatural wanderer, Rondel, who battles against witches and monsters in the Appalachian wilderness. Powell combines fairytales with southern folklore to create a series that’s worth reading.
Birds symbolise a variety of things, from the freedom of the sky, to a young person asserting their independence. Birds play a big part in Sanders and Jay Fabares’ The Pale, which sees avian enthusiast Franklin ‘Fink’ Ink confront his past in the Arizona desert. Ink also works for the FBI as a linguist and it puts him into contact with the sheriff of a small town. But Fink is hiding something crucial about himself that could make or break the case. The Comic Vault was sent The Pale #1 and #2 in exchange for an honest review.