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Book Review < Back

The Marquis: Danse Macabre

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Guy Davis
Publisher: Oni Press


One day, the Horrible Woman I Was Dating Back Then turned around and said to me and Harold that when she first saw Van Gogh's Starry Night, she was compelled by the image to reach out and touch the damn thing.

Harold and I, in unison, screamed "YOU DON'T TOUCH STARRY NIGHT!" and went on from there, lecturing her on the do's and don'ts of fine art, oil in fingertips, decaying paintings, historical treasures and future generations and etc. Well, she said, she couldn't help herself.

Believe it or not, I'm trying to talk about Guy Davis' THE MARQUIS here and failing because I never get any more or less farther than fifteen pages before some goddamn detail sucks my eye off of the words, and off I go flipping backwards and forewords across its gray, inky pages. DANSE MACABRE is intriguing enough - revolutionary France-like world, demons possessing men, a beak-masked avenger calling himself the Marquis hunting them down, struggling with his own humanity - but honestly, it could be complete crap and you wouldn't notice. Just look at it; you'll see what I mean.

Davis' work is unmistakably his own. Sinisterly detailed yet still vibrantly expressive, Davis draws with a storm of controlled chaos. His nervous, worried line sweeps and glides from panel to panel with an elegant grace and somehow-in-spite-of-it-all control. Slashes of ink intermix with jagged patches of zip-a-tone; great whorls of black and frantic bolts of white ripple and churn across page after page of gorgeous, human, nearly-tangible art.

I want to touch Guy Davis' work. I want to run my hand over his drawings. I want to ruin it for future generations. I can't help myself.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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