Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: BREATH OF BONES: A Tale of the Golem #1

DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Steve Niles and Matt Santoro
SCRIPT: Steve Niles
ART: Dave Wachter
LETTERS: Nate Piekos (of Blambot)
EDITORS: Scott Allie and Daniel Chabon
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 2013)

Part 1 of 3

Steve Niles, the creator of 30 Days of Night and Criminal Macabre, is the co-creator of a new dark fantasy miniseries, Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem. Niles, who wrote the story with Matt Santoro, scripts the series, and 2012 Russ Manning Award nominee Dave Wachter is the artist. The series concerns the giant clay monster of Jewish legend, and its battle against Nazis.

Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #1 opens in April 1944 and focuses on Noah, a young soldier. In the heat of battle, Noah recalls his youth, watching his father and the other men of his small European Jewish village leave for battle. Days turn into weeks as he awaits his father’s return. Then, he meets injured British pilot, Simon Richards.

For the most part, how many readers care what I think? I imagine in the scope of things that Dark Horse Comics cares more about a review at Comic Book Resources or at Newsarama than at I Reads You. That is regardless of how many reviews I Reads You has published in its short life.

But I’ll tell y’all what I think of this comic book anyway. I really like Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem. There is a touch of humanity about it that is similar to James Vance and Dan Burr’s recent graphic novel, On the Ropes. I’m not one of those people that get wood whenever I hear that Steve Niles is writing a new scary comic book. I don’t think he’s the Stephen King of American comic books, but still, I’m touched by his new work.

For the most part, the first issue of Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem is a historical drama about the home front during wartime. The lovely art by Dave Wachter is perfect to tell this story of a small village in Europe. The lovely ink wash texture helps to evoke the sense of longing and also the threat of danger on the horizon. Is this hand-drawn ink wash or computer-aided? I’ll be disappointed if it’s the latter. Bring on #2.

People who want good comics want Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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