Tuesday, 22 February 2011

That Scary Mind of Yours...

It was Nic's suggestion that we ask Marvel artist, Laurence Campbell, to write a brief foreword for Slaughterman's Creed. Laurence's work on Punisher Max was, for my money, the best that title and character ever looked, with a powerful noir aesthetic and distinctive widescreen approach. Considering the tone of Slaughterman's Creed, Laurence seemed like an ideal candidate - so the fact that he agreed to read the book and, having done so, to write the foreword was deeply cool.

As for what he had to say:

I fear Cy Dethan, the writer, may be a lost cause.

It’s Stephen Downey, the artist, who I feel so sorry for. This may be because, being an artist myself, I know what he’s going through. You see, people are going to read Slaughterman’s Creed and will be going to the artist saying, “How do you come up with this dark stuff? What goes on in that scary mind of yours?”

And Stephen Downey will say, “It’s not my fault - it’s the writer, Cy Dethan. He put it in the script.”

Stephen Downey should have known better. The signs were there when they worked together on the successful Cancertown. Saying, “I just pulled the trigger. It was Cy who gave me the gun and told me what to do” is no defence.

I was lucky enough to be sent a preview copy of Slaughterman’s Creed to review. My plan was to read it over a couple of days, as I was busy with deadlines at the time.

I read it in one sitting.

This is a tough read. There, you’ve been warned. There is no holding back. No copping out. Cy and Stephen Downey deliver.

What you will find is a nasty, dark tale which cuts into the underbelly of gangland London. Think The Long Good Friday meets No Country for Old Men.

Cy Dethan pushes the boundaries. No, not pushes them - casually disregards them and walks right over them.

Stephen Downey and Andy Brown add flesh to the bones. Not holding back, confronting the story head-on. It’s easy in these situations to make the artwork a gorefest, but they balance horror and tension perfectly. Then Vicky Stonebridge and Nic Wilkinson add the final garnish to complete.

I’m still unsure I want to know where Cy Dethan came up with this little number. All I know is I’ll be keeping a closer eye on him and Stephen Downey - and so should you.

Laurence Campbell
Marvel artist: Punisher Max, Wolverine, Moon Knight.

I would describe myself as happy about this.

Slaughterman's Creed is, as you may have heard, available for preorder now. Markosia will also be accepting preorders from their table at the upcoming Cardiff Comic Expo.

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