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Book Review < Back

London's Dark

Credits: Written by James Robinson and Illustrated by Paul Johnson
Publisher: Titan Books


LONDON'S DARK was originally produced by Escape Publishing in concert with Titan Books. Escape are one of the forgotten architects of the adult comics renaissance that began in the 1980s, and, among many good things, they created the space for a young writer called James Robinson to magic up a pure blast of emotional, inventive historical fiction, matching him perfectly with a self-publishing small press artist called Paul Johnson.

LONDON'S DARK, a love story with crime and magic set in World War 2 London, crackles with wild youthful energy. James Robinson writes it with a simple, guileless humanity, and Paul Johnson's figure drawing, especially his nobly ordinary, somehow haunted faces, are matchless. LONDON'S DARK is alive with ideas, new methods, new compositions, all put solidly in the service of telling the story as clearly and evocatively as possible.

This book is contemporary with the rather more well known Violent Cases from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and is as much of a stepping stone to an adult medium as that work. That it's been out of print this long is a stone crime, and I urge you to pick up this little bit of lost history from the dim and distant 1980s.

-- Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis has written around thirty graphic novels, comics, prose fiction, journalism, videogames and screenplays. Sometimes he take photographs. He also creates and co-creates websites, including this one. He has awards and stuff, he's been in big magazines and newspapers, and he's been published in Nature, which he always mentions because it makes him laugh. He's on the web at warrenellis.com and diepunyhumans.com.


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