Cal McDonald, the creation of Steve Niles (possibly best known for his title 30 Days of Night) is back in his latest mini-series under the Criminal Macabre banner. As the inset of the comic so accurately summarizes him, Cal is a pill-popping, alcoholic degenerate, who teams up with his ghoul associate Mo’Lock and traverses around the sin-infested streets of Los Angeles battling a growing horde of monsters. Think Dylan Dog but with less clarinet and more inebriation. The Eyes of Frankenstein picks up shortly after Cal’s last adventure where he found himself transformed into one of the undead and is now contending with life, so to speak, as a ghoul.
For Cal though, there is no rest for the weary and he finds himself quickly swept up in his latest adventure, this time providing his unusual investigative talents to Frankentstein’s monster, who is slowly going blind and it is up to Cal to find a solution. Through his associate Mo’Lock, Cal reluctantly turns to Jason Hemlock, an authority on the occult, for assistance. Hemlock may just be able repair the Monster’s eyes, and shed some light on Cal’s transformation into a ghoul, but is his help truly benevolent or is there a larger sinister plan at work?
Each and every week, I, “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Henchman21, and “Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Punk!” Empress Eve read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible”¦ theoretically. Naturally, we look forward to some more than others. I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of our pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of September 25, 2013. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
I have decided to mix it up a little this week, and as such, instead of my usual three or so books I have nine new issues to check out. There’s a ton great issues out this week, and with all of the books listed, there’s something for everyone. Take a look, go to a store, and buy yourself some good comics, because good comics make me happy and they make you happy. So let’s all get happy with The GoD List!
To say that Steve Niles has created the best of both worlds when it comes to horror and crime-pulp-noir with his two most well known properties, Criminal Macabre and 30 Days of Night, is an understatement. Any fan of horror, crime comics, or novels of the like would absolutely love these stories and the revolving cast of characters.
Criminal Macabre is about Cal McDonald, a former cop turned supernatural detective, who with the aid of his ghoul sidekick Mo’lock battle the forces of evil and get just as wasted doing so. 30 Days of Night is the story of vampires attacking a small Alaskan town named Barrow, where the sun goes down for a month and vampires are free to roam. Steve Niles has written several mini-series and novels based on the characters from both properties. 30 Days of Night was adapted as a major motion picture as well as the second story in the series, Dark Days, which was a direct-to-DVD movie. Needless to say, both titles have a lot of history behind them and this story has been building for a long time.
Writer Steve Niles may have had greater success with works like 30 Days of Night, but it’s the embittered hunter of the supernatural demons, Cal McDonald, that is his iconic character and the one Niles has continually returned to for 22 years. And, after all this time, it seems as though Cal is having a bit of an existential crisis with his current predicament.
Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit takes a little excursion from the main narrative of the series – the war between man and seemingly every supernatural monster ever dreamed – to do a one-shot detective story. When the book opens, Cal is trying to come to grips with his recent… undeath. The bad is that he can’t sleep, he has no blood, and his hands are kind of cold and clammy; the good is he can still drink and smoke (and do both without the adverse health effects, I assume, so: bonus?) and has picked up the ability to sense other members of the undead. I’m sure Niles will explore it further, but whatever rules he has for the undead, the message seems to be that there is no relief from life in undeath. Or, as Cal put it: “I seemed pretty much like myself, just dead and tooling around like before.” The mechanics of being undead are perhaps the most interesting thing about this comic, and I don’t mean that as a backhanded insult. It’s the kind of thing that keeps Cal compelling beyond the mysteries he’s trying to solve.
The Deal of the Day over at Things From Another World today is Dark Horse’s Criminal Macabre: Cell Block 666 trade paperback, from 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles, for only $7.77 (that’s 40% off of the regular price of 12.95).
Note – The sale at TFAW is valid only for today, Thursday, May 17, 2012, til 11:59PM PST while supplies last (and there’s a limited supply, so it will sell out, so hurry!). Visit the TFAW’s Deal of the Day page to view the hours left in the sale as well as quantities left on the item.
If Criminal Macabre: Cell Block 666 sells out, you can also buy a copy on sale for $11.04 at Amazon.