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Book Review < Back

Strangehaven: Arcadia (vol. 1)

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Gary Spencer Millidge
Publisher: Abiogenesis Press

Commentary

STRANGEHAVEN has a slow, drifting sense of time. It's a softer, stranger, more insidious, cider-drinking cousin to the great British TV serial The Prisoner. It doesn't stand up and shout at you and run around like Patrick McGoohan. That's not Gary's style. Gary sits you down with a pint and mutters a while and eventually you realise he's tangled you up in a story you can't easily get out from. Like STRANGEHAVEN, the ties are invisible and sneak up on you and are very, very binding. It winds disparate stories and characters around each other like Twin Peaks (the other great touchstone when people discuss STRANGEHAVEN), but Gary does it better, and with more compelling and likeable characters.

Alex Hunter, driving through rural England, swerves to avoid an apparition in the winding country road and ends up in Strangehaven, a gently off-kilter village that he first doesn't want to leave - and then finds himself entirely unable to escape. A delicious stripe of weirdness runs through this book; a somewhat inbred-looking secret society and a local rainforest shaman spice the kitchen sink drama wonderfully, in the periods where the main plotline rests.

-- 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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