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The Brontes: Infernal Angria
posted July 22, 2005
Craig McKenney, Rick Geary
Headless Shakespeare Press (Xeric), $4, 24 pages
First, a note: I was surprised to see a Xeric-Award winner from Headless Shakespeare Press at this point in their publishing history. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm more accustomed to seeing first books rather than books further down the production line, let alone books featuring a collaborator not invested in the creative process. Even more oddly, from reading the story it's clear this isn't a one-shot but the first issue in a series. None of that violates anything I know about Xeric rules, nor do I begrudge Headless Shakespeare their grant; I'm just not surprised, and wanted to note that here in case it makes for a shift in what the Xeric will target.
It should be no surprise that the art is pretty lovely in The Brontes: Infernal Angria
. Rick Geary uses an attractive, comfortable style at this point in his long career. That style, with its hints of exaggerated Victorian illustration, is well served by an historical-tinged fantasy featuring small, precocious children. It's unclear from this first issue point how the writing, both the story and the dialogue work, may turn out. The stately pace of the narative allows for little in the way of imaginative detail, at least so far. Despite the famous name on the cover, this book reads like a generic small children in a magical land story, and they don't get very far enough into trouble before issue #1 ends to shake things up in a way that holds one interest. Nothing about the dialogue work offends or thrills, either. The pay-offs beyond this first impression, or lack thereof, will likely make or break the series.