Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jason Dark - Vol 2: Theater Of Vampires by Guido Henkel

In the mood for a bit of the old-school, pulpy horror in the vein of those great old penny dreadfuls? Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter Vol. 2 - Theater Of Vampires, will fill that want, and leave you satisfied.

When stage magic isn't what it seems, Jason Dark turns to an old friend for help. Explore the shadows of the Victorian Theater with London's most famous Geisterjäger as he confronts a horror beyond anything yet confronted. "Theater of Vampires" is a story of betrayal, discovery, and horror in the tradition of the Grand Guignol. The only admission price needed is your courage.

Henkel really delivers a blast from the past with this foray into the Jason Dark series, whipping the reader into victorian London, and a story infused with a darkness and an adventurous spirit. The over the top feel of this short book is great, giving the reader enough information to become lost in the story, but also delivering the goods in terms of action scenes and "edge of your seat" drama.

The character, Sin Liu, was incredibly sexy and - by the end - really a very powerful female character. I loved the way that Henkel played his entire cast against each other, making them jump right off the page in a grand way.

I'd love to see this turned into something in a different media - maybe a TV show or some graphic novels. The idea of turning this series into a series of radio shows isn't too bad either. The imagery involved really begs to be seen/heard as well as read. The magazine-style format is awesome to hold, and really adds to the nostalgic feel of the stories, but Jason Dark very much deserves something bigger and brighter than this small package. The idea presented here is something different from what we're seeing these days - deserving more notice in the horror comunity, and the popular culture at large.

Also, check out Chris Alexander's write up on the Jason Dark series in issue #296 of Fangoria. Alexander calls the Jason Dark series "a cult of sophisticated fiends who like their terror full of elegant dread and Victorian charm" and thinks the series "is briskly paced pulp fiction full of shivery intrigue that aims to do only one thing: entertain." He couldn't be more right.

Henkel really has something special on his hands here. Slake your thirst for some old school horror in the style of the Grand Guignol at the Jason Dark website, or contact Henkel on Facebook and Twitter.

PBH.

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