Saturday, 3 December 2011

Read Strange Embrace Before You Die!

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!


Available from all good bookshops, Amazon UKAmazon USA, and as a digital download: Strange Embrace digital, where you can read the first part for free.


  1. I bought Strange Embrace that day and can't wait to read it and for you to sign it once we meet. Again I apologise for not being able to make it to MCM that day due to my work on my literature review at that time that you have kindly understood and hope to see you soon and I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.

  2. Thanks, Mohammad. I hope you enjoy Strange Embrace and I'm sure I'll see you some time in the new year.

  3. Great stuff! Glad the book is being recognized. It gets such grand and rave reviews, yet it's still not that big of a house hold name. That needs to change.

  4. No biggie, but I actually wrote that review, not Ariel Khan (it may have been miscredited in the book, I don't have my copy to hand.) Best wishes, Andrew Littlefield.

  5. Sorry, Andrew. That was my mistake. I shall correct that instantly.