Finished reading: The Cursed Hermit by Kris Bertin (Writer), Alexander Forbes (Artist) 📚
A sequel to the duo’s previous The Case of the Missing Men though that isn’t strictly needed to appreciate this adventure. The story is not as bonkers as Missing Men but is still deranged and unhinged, with a deeper look at Pauline’s character. She showed hints in the previous book of second-sight, and she goes on a deep personal journey in Hermit.
Found myself going back to the beginning, going back to specific pages and sequences (that paint smudge over Pauline’s eye in the early pages! the kaleidoscope patterns!).
The art by Alexander Forbes is jaw-droppingly detailed and brilliant. I spent several minutes just studying the cross-hatching, shading, brushwork on the trees and cliff faces and rocky outcroppings. His landscapes and nature drawings have a solidly real look, while the fantasy images use that realism to unsettling effect. His character-acting is also great, especially during Pauline’s visions; the inhabitants of Hobtown all look dulled, dumpy, uncaring – and Bertin’s story explains why that is.
I don’t know how many hours and years it took them to create this book, but I will happily wait however long it takes for them to create another. This one really hit my sweet spot for comics, spookiness, character development (Pauline and Dana’s relationship felt real and caring).