Note! This is a joint review of Lord Horror #7 (Hard Core Horror #5) and Lord Horror #8 (Reverbstorm #1).
I've had a chance to read Lord Horror #7 (Hard Core Horror #5) and Lord Horror #8 (Reverbstorm #1), so here's my review of them. This review is an "add-on review" to my earlier review of Lord Horror: Reverbstorm.
Before I write anything else, here's a warning to all readers:
Warning! These graphic novels are only suitable for mature adult readers. They contain so much controversial and disturbing material that they can only be recommended for adults (and especially to adults who aren't easily shocked).
Savoy Books has had problems with censorship etc in the past, but it's good that they don't have that kind of problems anymore, because the Lord Horror series is a truly unforgettable graphic novel series. In this series art meets sex, violence and wartime horrors in a disturbing and thought-provoking way.
I re-read Lord Horror: Reverbstorm before reading these two graphic novels (both graphic novels can be found in Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, but they contain additional material). When I re-read Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, I could't help but wonder how the authors have managed to create it, because it's something totally different and the authors address several controversial themes by means of art.
I have to admit that I'm very impressed by the Lord Horror graphic novel series, because David Britton and John Coulthart have done their best to create a thought-provoking, unsettling and rewarding reading experience for readers who want to read something different.
Nothing in these graphic novels is easy, but I'm sure that readers, who are willing to think about the happenings, will be impressed by the strange story and stunningly explicit and beautiful drawings. The drawings are full of darkness, horror, sex, violence and also references to popular culture, so readers have a lot to handle when they begin to these graphic novels.
Lord Horror #7 (Hard Core Horror #5) and Lord Horror #8 (Reverbstorm #1) require quite a lot of attention from the readers, because the authors don't underestimate the intelligence of their readers - the authors assume that the readers are able to use their brains and figure things out for themselves. I appreciate this kind of storytelling and art very much, because everything doesn't always have to be explained.
Every reader will experience and interpret the happenings in a different way. My interpretation of the happenings is that these graphic novels are a strong statement against hate and intolerance.
The CD that came with first editions of Lord Horror #8 (Reverbstorm #1) adds a nice touch of weirdness to the graphic novel. On this CD "Jessie Matthews" sings "Reverbstorm". This song reminds me a bit of certain 80s and early 90s pop songs, because it has the same kind of pop/rock rhythm in it. In my opinion the singer has a good voice.
Lord Horror #7 (Hard Core Horror #5) is an expectionally powerful graphic novel, because there aren't any descriptions about the happenings. The authors have decided to leave everything to the reader's imagination, which is good, because the drawings are so masterfully done that readers will be able to figure out what's going on and can imagine what the descriptions could be.
The images of the real holocaust victims in Lord Horror #7 (Hard Core Horror #5) are very disturbing and it's possible that they may be too much for certain readers (they add true horror to this graphic novel). The authors go as far as possible to push the limits of art to new disturbing heights with these images.
John Coulthart's art is extremely beautiful, disturbing and full of small details. What amazes me most is that there's deeply Lovecraftian menace in certain drawings. As a big fan of Lovecraftian weird fiction, I was very impressed by these weird elements. The explicit drawings also remind me of Clive Barker's explicit and shocking art (and also of his Books of Blood series, because the stories in them are explicit).
I'm sure that these graphic novels will appeal to experienced dark fantasy and horror readers, because the bleak, gloomy and sadistic atmosphere is full of menace, terror and unexplained weirdness. Readers who are used to explicit material are in for a real treat, because it's difficult (or perhaps I should say impossible) to find this kind of shocking graphic novels.
If I should describe the Lord Horror series to readers who have never read it, I'd probably say that it's a uniquely disturbing, unforgettable and rewarding reading experience. These graphic novels aren't easy, but they offer a rare and fascinating glimpse into a nightmarish and alternate world that is full of pain, suffering, wartime horrors and weird happenings, so horror readers will be able to find several different elements in them.
I can highly recommend these graphic novels to readers who want to experience something different. If you have the stomach to handle the contents of these graphic novels, you will be impressed by David Britton's weird story and John Coulthart's gorgeous artwork.