It's official! You must read Strange Embrace. The man with the lawgiver says so.
Strange Embrace has made the cut for Paul Gravett's mighty tome, pictured above.
Here's what contributor Andrew Littlefield has to say:
"Strange Embrace is almost impossible to categorize neatly. It is an hallucinogenic ghost story, mixed with a critique of English sexual hypocrisy and misogyny, then crossed with the most gleefully sordid melodrama. Referring to fetishism, loneliness and misplaced affection, it is told with black humor, compassion, and anger at the calculated cruelty of the old ruling class. There's nothing else quite like it in comics and it deserves to be much better known than it is.
A large part of the comic's story line is set in the Victorian era. Readers learn about the dark family secrets of masochistic recluse Anthony Corbeau, who may or may not be the central character of the tale. As if in homage to that greatest and most ambiguous of all Victorian ghost stories, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, David Hine uses a variety of narrative techniques - letters, diaries, flashbacks - to unfold, slowly and carefully, his tale of young innocence corrupted and made malevolent. James always paid close attention to the architecture of his plots, and Hine does likewise; by the end of the fourth and final issue of Strange Embrace, all the different strands of the story have been brought together and resolved in an extremely satisfying but quite unexpected manner.
Hine's jagged, deliberately ugly artwork is perhaps not quite as accomplished as his scripting, but it grows more adept as the series progresses, and is at all times perfectly in keeping with the story's surreal heart. African tribal art signifiers are used particularly effectively to extend the critique of imperial theft and despoilment that runs through the comic."
If you're feeling particularly under the weather, you should rush out and buy the collected edition now!
|"GLEEFULLY SORDID MELODRAMA"|
Available from all good bookshops, Amazon UK, Amazon USA, and as a digital download: Strange Embrace digital, where you can read the first part for free.