Gravel Volume 1: Bloody Liars Hardcover (Gravel (Avatar)) Hardcover – 9 Jun 2009
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About the Author
Warren Ellis is the award-winning British author of comic books, novels, and television, most often recognized for his sociocultural commentary and ground-breaking work in the genre of science fiction. His most recognizable works include Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. He maintains a consistent online presence which includes the weekly delivery of the FREAKANGELS web comic to millions of fans. Ellis has published over 25 different creator-owned projects through Avatar Press (including BLACK SUMMER, IGNITION CITY, and GRAVEL, the last of which is in development as a film through Legendary Pictures), with many more planned. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gravel himself is what's known as a 'Combat Magician' and he combines magical powers with more traditional fighting techniques such as guns and fists.
He's something of a rotter at times, but he needs to be in the dangerous world he inhabits.
This is like a cross between Hellblazer and Doctor Strange, but much better than either of those titles.
In my view another hit from Warren Ellis, and sure to be enjoyed by any fan of horror and the occult.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story is lengthier than the prior Gravel narratives, and also expands on some background that was amiss from prior entries. Turns out that Gravel belonged to "the minor seven", a group of Britain's occult detectives (maybe more loony occultists than detectives) tasked with "minor" activities than their upper echelons, the "major seven" -who don't show up in this book. This is a welcome expansion as we only new of the disgruntled combat magician to be associated to the SAS, and carefully walking the line between perpetual disgruntle and summary execution.
Very early in the story Gravel decides he has to kill all of the minor seven. First because they have declared him "dead" for no other reason than egotism and dislike. Secondly because they have gotten their hands in a legendary grimoire taken straight out of English ghost literature -a nice homage. So, yes, using his wit, physical and magical prowess, in that order, Gravel disposes of the minor seven. We don't really get to learn what the minor seven exist for, who selects them, which are the magical deities of England they have transactions with, and why did they ever accepted to be labelled with such a lame monicker... but we don't really care, maybe you could do a web search for "minor seven" and discover there are old legends about them, or maybe Warren Ellis walks around these questions because he is too lazy to come up with the answers.
The story is really about Gravel going after this dangerous magicians with severe delusions of social and magical grandeur, in different settings, from London to the country side. And about Gravel buying a magical device from an ex SAS associate. Well, not really a magical device: what do you think Gravel is going to buy from an ex SAS associate?
There is also some very light commentary on the pitfalls the occult poses to the young, if they decide to become practitioners or "acolytes", but I am not sure this is rounded or can be described as "commentary". Especially from how Gravel brings closure to it. A very loud closure by the way.
As I wrote above, its been a few years since I got this book and I still surprise myself enjoying Jimenez artwork, the paneling, some parts of the script, and Gravel and the rest of the cast, the magic bullets, and exploding mystical dogs that bite into Gravel's arm. Raulo Cacers also draws the first three chapters, and he is someone to behold as well. Caceres exposes the right timing and panel dynamics in the script to deliver a swift knife into someone's mouth roof (ouch!), and the audible galloping of spectral horses gifted with very physical hoofs, so watch them from smashing your skull, just as in other works he has done for Avatar, some of them with Ellis -check Captain Swing, a lovely work there from Caceres as well.
Need I say more? Yes, I have read the other Gravel titles, but this one holds a very special place in my bookshelves.
still... pictures are nice and it is very short. it doesnt hurt you as pure entertainment.
nothing exceptional.... but different magical tale from harry potter.