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posted February 21, 2006
Mini-Comics, Partyka, 52 pages
takes a classic short-story approach of adapting a folktale into modern dress. A man loses his wife to much heartbreak, and wants to abandon the rest of his life -- and his child -- by moving away. In preparing to do so in the middle of the night, the child insists his mother has come back. The man investigates and finds the ghost (more like a zombie) of his wife having sex with another dead person, oblivious and animal-like. He chops into the couple, re-buries them, and then drives away leaving the child. It's a nice treatment for a story of this size. The story's ambiguity comes from the man's desire to leave which frames the story. This means that instead of the reader being able to figure out a linear cause and effect, the specific impact of having to dispose of his wife one more time has to be sussed out from the scant evidence provided. One reading is to see the incident as the effect rather than the cause, that having to deal with his wife's memory is something he has to do before he can leave. The boy may also be a ghost, or being seen as one. Matthew Wiegle's art proves reasonably atmospheric, a cross between woodcuts and exaggerated humor-comic figure work I don't think anyone will ever run to The Ghosts
as an example of stellar horror art, I imagine readers will have their interest piqued for long enough to finish the story. Like most of the Partyka books, this is a fine use of the mini-comic format in terms of scale, presentation and concept.