Comic Review: Black Charity
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Black Charity
Written and Illustrated by Bal Speer
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Cover Price: $19.95

Did you ever see Four Rooms? A little crazy, several separate stories that eventually intertwined? Yeah, that’s what Black Charity does…only in a totally kickass way! I don’t have a clue who Bal Speer is, but I totally need to have a pint with this guy. No, really. I want to meet him and hang for a day, just to pick that dark and twisted mind a little bit.

We start off with our basic “everyman” named Charlie who is a bit too hung up on his ex-girlfriend, Louise. We meet his neighbors: Duncan the OCD dog poop aficionado, Polly the work-at-home dominatrix, even an older blind guy that always seems to be right around the corner. Add to this motley crew (damn, I wanted to type Motley Crue there) a subtle murder that is made to look like a suicide and you get a run-for-your-life action comic!

Dark landscapes and subtle coloring lends itself to the grittiness of the story. You get a dirty feeling, like you are seeing the underbelly of London in this one. Acts of violence permeate this tale, leaving the reader on the edge of their proverbial seat, just waiting for the next scene to unfold. The story reveals itself slowly, like a good novel…just enough to keep you guessing but always wondering what is going to happen to the lead characters. Even a change of scenery in the last pages does nothing to erase this gloomy feeling of death and despair. Overall, the casualness of the adult scenes and violence really make you take this graphic novel seriously. This is no kids book, not even for teens. This one is for grownups, no doubt about it.

You need to make sure that you are prepared for the bloodshed this one brings. There is deviant sex, degradation, and random killings…all of which serve to deliver our mundane world into darkness, at least as far as this story is concerned. But if you can deal with all of that, this is one glorious, delicious read! Not for the faint of heart by any means, but if you have the stones to pick it up, it certainly won’t let you down.

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