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Danny Ocean Goes Bump In the Night
on 9 April 2015
This graphic novel starts out unpromisingly as our hero, Jackson Winters, sits in jail having gritty philosophical/emo prisoner thoughts. But a few pages in, bam, he's sprung in a daring, violent jailbreak. Then he's taken to the mansion of a rich nutcase. The rich nut collects supernatural and paranormal doodads, and he wants a real ghost to complete his collection. He wants our hero to capture the ghost at the abandoned Trask mansion. Winters says sure if he can pick his own crew and wear a really snappy suit "like Sinatra would have worn". Next thing you know we have a crew, (film guys, ghost trapper, skeptic, occult specialist, psychic, hot blonde female muscle, etc.), and the rest of the book is "Ocean's Eleven" takes down "The House on Haunted Hill" by way of "Hell House".
Between the breezy style, the rollicking action, and the shear nerve of the authors in pulling off such a mashup - the book works.
The gang heads out to the mansion, and stakes it out. We take our time setting up a story for each crew member, along with each one's devious plans, motives, potential for double-cross, divided loyalties, attitude, and the like. It's all shadowed by creepy foreboding, because this house has witnessed eeevilll. No plot spoilers here, but there are a lot of nice twists and turns and action, so the book runs creepy hot and Clooney cool in equal measure.
This is done in full color, with some very attractive big spread set pieces, (the mansion and so on). A lot of action takes place indoors and in the dark and the artists do a nice job of keeping the action clear and visible while establishing the gloomy and nighttime atmosphere. Winters has to have a George Clooney kind of cool for this to work, and a really impressive aspect of the drawing is that the artist has captured facial expressions and body language that actually reflects that. Sure, some of the panels are exaggerated, but more often than not we get drawing that really supports the story. This has to look real while being supernatural, and that's a tough order. But for the most part they pull it off here. This ended up an entertaining and satisfying read; Danny Ocean would be pleased.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.