Comic Review: The Butcher of Paris #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

The Butcher Of Paris #1, from Dark Horse, has a distinctly dramatic advantage: it’s the story of a serial killer, based on a true story. And that’s a strong beginning. […]

The Butcher Of Paris #1, from Dark Horse, has a distinctly dramatic advantage: it’s the story of a serial killer, based on a true story.

And that’s a strong beginning. It’s the early 40s, during the WWII Nazi occupation of Paris. Jews are being hunted down for extermination. But there appears to be a route to safety for the persecuted Jews, through a contact with the French underground, if you have the resources.

Stephanie Phillips writes, Dean Kotz illustrates, and Jason Wordie colours this grim, fascinating tale of human horror. It has conflict and drama written all over it, of course: a serial killer, Marcel Petiot, is active in the midst of World War 2 genocide. The irony is particularly bitter, as reading this story will reveal.

The plot is striking for its revelation of the folds and crevices of hidden human motivations: those who take advantage of opportunity, those who are in positions of unquestioning authority, those whose motives are so concealed that no one could possibly guess.

The artwork by Kotz, the colouring by Wordie and the lettering by Troy Peteri, are entwined in a well-woven style. Carefully choreographed, orchestrated for impact and with strong attention to detail. The word balloons in appropriate places, leading the eye around the panel. It’s not flashy, it’s effective.

At the conclusion of issue one, Phillips describes her journey of discovery and the findings of her research. It makes for sobering reading and deepens our realization of the true depths of horror that the human psyche can manifest.

Dark Horse, The Butcher Of Paris #1, $3.99 for 28 pages of content. Assume Mature rating

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!!