Friday, January 28, 2011

Ligotti's Comics and Stories

The Nightmare Factory, written by Joe Harris and Stuart Moore, illustrated by Ashley Wood, Colleen Doran, Ted McKeever, Ben Templesmith and Michael Gaydos, based on four stories by Thomas Ligotti, introductions by Thomas Ligotti (2007): Solid collection of four comics adaptations of Ligotti short stories. Ligotti, a contemporary horror writer who deserves far more popular and critical recognition than almost all his peers, supplies helpful introductions to each story. Art on each story seems appropriate, and Templesmith, whose work on 30 Days of Night I wasn't impressed by, really raises his game here, but all four story artists (and cover artist Ashley Wood) produce fine work here.

Inevitably, the stories are better simply as stories ("The Last Feast of Harlequin", Ligotti's secret sequel to Lovecraft's "The Festival", is a masterpiece of modern weird fiction), but that's in part because Ligotti's work relies so much on suggestion and ambiguousness. He's like the literary love-child born of a four-way among Lovecraft, Kafka, Borges and Robert Aickman, capable of existential horror that nonetheless carries with it a certain drollness and bleak humour. Recommended.

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