Vertigo Quarterly SFX is something the publisher has been doing for the past year, bringing fans of the mature imprint an anthology style book. This particular edition boasts a fine collection of top notch creators who are allotted a small amount of pages to show what they are made of.
Considering that this was a bit heftier of a read than most books on the rack this week, I’ve elected to give it its own review rather than include it in the latest Vertigo Roundup. Given that it contains a fair amount of short stories, I’ve decided to format this somewhat differently than our usual reviews and share some details regarding some of my favorite entries below to perhaps persuade you to check it out.
- “Monkey See” happened to be the first that caught my attention with its tight, efficient storytelling and robust artwork. I’m not lying when I say that you will be immediately drawn into the world it created. It’s like a cross between classic detective movie from the 1940’s and Every Which Way But Loose. Take into account that I normally don’t like stories featuring chimps and that may change your perspective regarding my praise.
- “Mary” hits you right in the dark parts of your mind. It conveys an atmosphere similar to that of The Haunting (1963) and sticks with you like the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark tales you read as a kid. The unexpected twist at the end will really make you think.
- In “Message from Yonder,” Marco Rudy delivers the most impressive visuals in this collection. If you like JH Williams, then you’ll like him. The dialogue is well crafted, although it feels a little muddled at times, but not enough to hinder your enjoyment of the story.
- “Beat for the Gods” is a sharply written and illustrated introspective look at an everyday single father who has a gay son. It shows just how much verbal jabs hurt an entire family, not just one person. What perhaps made this story so effective was that it looked at the son through the eyes of the father rather than the other way around.
There are obviously more cool tales to be read in this collection, but these are just the ones favored by a single man. Perhaps you will dig the others more. The $7.99 cover price may be a little steep, but I think this book has something for every Vertigo fan.