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In Review: The House of Daemon

House of Daemon - Cover

Hibernia Comics‘ eagerly-anticipated collection of the New Eagle story The House of Daemon is on sale now. If you’re a fan of the company’s collection, then early ordering is strongly advised, as their print runs are quite short and this series, drawn by Jose Ortiz, is very definitely a fan favourite.

The Book: In The House of Daemon, Elliot Aldrich has built a dream house – but that dream turned into a nightmare! Elliot with his wife Cassandra and a few brave companions are trapped in Daemon’s twisted house of terror, a house that Daemon will never let them escape from…

The House of Daemon - Sample Art

A stunning art spread from “The House of Daemon”

The Review: Published in New Eagle between September 1982 and February 1983, The House of Daemon is superbly written by Alan Grant and John Wagner, and incomparable art from Spanish master Jose Ortiz. Miss this collection at your peril!

The collection includes an introduction by ace artist Mike Perkins and the Hibernia team have done their usual stonking job restoring the strip for this collection. It’s a  truly chilling British horror comics classic, which moves swiftly from what appears to be a story about a haunted house into the world of nightmare as the Aldrich’s and their allies are dropped into a terrifying dreamscape that encompasses terrifying goblin-like characters, future war and bemused police.

Grant and Wagner effectively flesh out all the characters, not only giving us great action and adventure but strong female heroines – a rarity in most British boys comics and ground breaking at the time. The story is not one of simple demonic possession but a far more terrifying, seemingly unstoppable evil force… and the battle to defeat it will leave you gasping right to the last page.

“As an artist, when you look at another creator’s work, you can safely place them in to three categories,” Notes Mike Perkins of Jose Ortiz work on the strip in his introduction. “The first category is really the one you don’t want to come across too often for fear of arrogance and the belittling of your own subjective perspective. This one is the ‘I could do better than that’ category. It’s best not to dwell upon that one! The second category of artists are the ones you look at and absorb. These are the illustrators you analyse and try to approriate stylistic leanings or techniques into your own work. The consumer, or another artist, may look at my work and say ‘Oh, I see a little bit of Bolland there’ or ‘the way you approached that is very reminiscent of early Dillon’. Both of which are enormous compliments… just letting you know.

“The third category consists of those artists who illustrate works you just simply want to sit back and admire. You may study them to see how they achieved the supremacy of line and shadow they have managed to get down on the page – and you may appropriate some of those techniques – but primarily you sit there in awe at what they’ve done and you’re glad that they’ve chosen to produce comics of such vision and quality. José Ortiz is firmly ensconced within this final category.”

If you want to sit back and savour some astonishing work, then you know exactly where you should be heading next after reading this review… if you dare…

The House of Daemon is now available to buy from Hibernia’s comics shop – www.comicsy.co.uk/hibernia | Perfect Bound • 94 Pages • Black and White. Please allow 10 working days for delivery, usually much faster, but these books are sent via international postage, and can on occasion take a little extra time.

 

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.
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