After the death of his mother, musician Erik travels back home for her funeral and stumbles upon a mystery of her past. Erik enters his mother’s study late at night and finds a ghoulish figure clutching a photograph of a strange musician. The man in the photo captivates him, and he chalks the ghost up to grief. Erik begins to dig into who the musician could be, and his search leads him to the former owner of a jazz club in New York. A room full of mementoes from the club give Erik some clues into the man’s identity, but furthers the mystery of the ghoul who now haunts him.
This story has been lauded as a book that really captures what it’s like to be a musician, but, as a musician, I’m not totally seeing it. There are some great descriptive phrases in the narrative voice, but capturing what it’s like to play music and be lost in what you’re creating through art is pretty difficult. The creepy ghoul and the fact that the musician is named Erik brings me back to The Phantom of the Opera since The Phantom’s real name is Erik, and he definitely haunts musicians with promises of improving their musicianship. The illustrations make use of very ethereal watercolors, which enhances the dark themes of the story. There are a few pages within the story that are beautifully composed with stunning coloring, and others that will seat into your brain and haunt you for days to come.
Image rates his book as Mature. There are some adult scenes, alcohol and drug use, some violence, and horrifying monsters.
Sara’s Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Adult
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: November 3, 2020
ISBN: 9781534317130 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Adult, Comicbooks, Music, Grief, Horror
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