Comic Review: The Butcher of Paris #5 (Dark Horse Comics)

During these days of international quarantine, the imminent arrival of any new comic book is something to be celebrated! The final issue of The Butcher of Paris arrives any day […]

During these days of international quarantine, the imminent arrival of any new comic book is something to be celebrated! The final issue of The Butcher of Paris arrives any day now from Dark Horse.

There is a serial killer in Paris in World War Two. He’s pretending to act on behalf of the French resistance, and has been discovered! Caught!!

Stephanie Phillips (Descendent, Devil Within) writes with an ear for dialogue. This issue, taking place mostly in courtrooms and offices, plays the formalities and protocols against the antics of Dr. Marcel Petiot, the clown prince of evil, like for real. Insane, incorrigible, and insistently narcissistic, Petiot tries, again and again, to impose his will upon those around him. Will he sway the judicial proceedings? Will the public, entertained by his outbursts and antics, take a liking to Dr. Petiot? This remarkable, true story is gripping, right to the end.

Dean Kotz (Mars Attacks) brings us another strongly crafted visual tour-de-force. As I mentioned, a lot of this final issue occurs in the courtroom, which would in itself strike terror into the hearts of many an artist. To depict human drama in a French courtroom, and make it compelling. To draw lots of people, lots of environment. Kotz’s ink lines are restrained, and there are no exploding panels or wild camera angles. Instead, it’s all in support of the story: entertaining character expressions, lots of clean, heavier line detail in the foreground with less detail in the background. But it’s not overworked, it has a ‘just enough’ feel. Somehow the story reads ‘European’ in its visual treatment, and that’s meant as a compliment.

Colourist Jason Wordie keeps flat areas bright and contrasty, which helps emphasize the darker, more sinister moments.
Lettering by Troy Peteri is superb: legible, well-placed balloons, restrained handling of effects.
Cover artist Dave Johnson brings another iconically designed image to the forefront; powerfully positioned for maximum two colour effect.

Dark Horse Comics, The Butcher of Paris #5, $3.99 for 22 pages of content. Assume Mature readers, Horror Non-Fiction

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!!