Comic Review: Only The End of The World Again (Dark Horse)

Once in a while, a trade comes out that is utterly amazing and stunning in its marraige of words and art. Only The End Of The World Again from Dark […]

Once in a while, a trade comes out that is utterly amazing and stunning in its marraige of words and art. Only The End Of The World Again from Dark Horse is one of those. And here’s why:

Only The End Of The World Again (‘OTEOTWA’), written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Troy Nixey, with colors by Matthew Hollingsworth, is truly amazing tale. I can’t wait to tell you about it and why it grabbed me. Here’s the background:

A man has an office in a small New England town. It’s a dumpy little office, above a liquor store, across from a palm reader shop. He’s a recent arrival in town, and his landlady’s already on his back for 2 weeks’ late rent. What’s a guy to do? Well, go for a drink of course! Let’s get to know the locals!

Unfortunately, it seems that this man is cursed to be a werewolf. And that’s not all; the villagers are not what they seem. His newly discovered werewolf status is upsetting the local power structure, and beings from the deep sea are at unrest. We’re going to see battles, gory battles. And magic, disturbing magic. But that’s just the background!

A difficult story to describe without spoilers, OTEOTWA is a combination of real, imaginary and fable. Things are clear but mystical. Gaiman’s dialogue has a poetic way of working toward two meanings at the same time. Phrases are repeated at different parts of the story to different ends. It’s like a stage play, where characters are not what they seem and end up repeating each other’s dialogue.

This mesmerizing written style is helped tremendously by the artistic hands of Troy Nixey, working from early layouts by P. Craig Russell (whose layouts are contrasted with Nixey’s final drawings in a special bonus section at the end of the book). While Russell’s original panel layouts and drawings are analytical, clean and balanced, Nixey has frequently departed from them and illustrated things in a loopy, twisted style that adds just the right touch of weirdness. Heavy lines with an eccentric quality.

Verdict: It’s a masterful story that you will want to reread. I highly recommend this book!

Dark Horse Only The End Of The World Again hardcover, $19.99 for 154 pages. Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!