Joe Lansdale’s epic adaptation and update of Robert E. Howard’s classic Pigeons from Hell continues this issue, as events literally heat up.
Sisters Janet and Claire are exploring the area around their grandmother’s spooky antebellum mansion when they wander across the house of the mysterious Alcebee. Alcebee is a very, very old man who knows some very, very mysterious secrets, secrets involving lost souls, mysterious history, and some horrific violence. “You don’t know what you’re up against, little girl,” Alcebee tells Claire, and you can be sure that prediction will come true in the next issue.
Lansdale’s updating of Howard’s classic tale has been wonderfully spooky so far. Along with artist Nathan Fox and colorist Dave Stewart, Lansdale creates an atmosphere of intense suspense and mystery, as if the truth of this mysterious horror always seems to be just around the next page–but do you really want to turn the page, knowing that there are horrific horrors awaiting you?
I think what I enjoy the most about this comic is that it mines a classic setting but adds a completely new element to that setting. We’ve all read and seen innumerable haunted house stories, or stories of teenagers lost in mysterious woods. But a good writer is able to use the clichés to present his own story, giving the clichés unique and unexpected twists. Lansdale is clearly up to the challenge of doing justice to Howard; it’s wonderful to see a great writer doing great work.
Nathan Fox’s art reminds me a bit of Paul Pope’s style, with an intensely busy line and very emotional panel work. His complex line adds terrific drama to the story. It’s hard for readers to relax and settle into the story because the artist’s line never seems to sit still.
A master adapts the work of a master in this comic; it’s no surprise that this comic is terrific.