Arthur Pendragon was the king of all Britain. His story is legendary. Merlin. The Lady of the Lake. Excalibur. Camelot. The Knights of the Round Table. But these stories are bright lies painted over the truth. Here is presented the gospel of Arthur’s bloody rise to power and his unholy reign. The legend of King Arthur is not the stuff of legends, but the fuel of nightmares. As Arthur descends into darkness, is there any lingering hope that he still might do something good?
UNHOLY GRAIL #1
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Mirko Colak
Lettered by: Simon Bowland
Cover Art by: Mirko Colak
Published by: AfterShock Comics
AfterShock Comics has been pumping out horror titles with regularity, and that, dear readers, is a good thing. Comics are a great medium for the genre, especially a high-concept hybrid like Unholy Grail, which is an ambitious and well-executed fusion of Lovecraftian horror with the classic tale of King Arthur. Telling a story like this in sequential art allows you to go full blast without having to limit anything. No image, setting, or concept is beyond grasp. This comic finds way to subvert this well-known myth in disturbing new ways and makes it feel new. Here are 11 reasons to pick up Unholy Grail #1 when it hits comic shops in July.
- Subverting Merlin from mentor to corruptor is just about the perfect set-up.
- How gruesome this comic gets (and will get, I bet!)
- Mirko Colak’s art is gorgeous. It’s elegant when needed and creepy when called for. It has a European style that is perfect for this.
- Cullen Bunn creates a twisted narration that is a dark reflection of the kind of stuff you find in fantasy stories.
- The lettering is also a big factor here. It gives each character a sound and creates voices for both humans and demons. Great work by Simon Bowland.
- This is also an expertly colored book, where mood and atmosphere are heavily created with the color palette and the balance of bright and dark “cinematography”.
- The implications of what The Lady In The Lake really is; a GREAT twisted take on the concept. This is where the Lovecraftian ideas start creeping in.
- Best scene: Arthur throwing a sword into the lake as an offering. (See above for context).
- “I know the devil, o man. And I know all his many sons. And you—are not one of them!”
- All the great possibilities that come to mind when you think about this concept (THAT’s what great conceptual world building is).
- “The first of many such blades he will claim.”
Pick up Unholy Grail if you want something different and new within the growing genre of fantasy comics. The familiarity of the tale works for it, allowing the subversions and horror you really stand out. Get it at your local comic shop, or directly from AfterShock Comics at their website or through Comixology.