blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher 1 (May 2013)

272563 20130515115940 largeWith the exception of the decaying corpses, Richard Corben actually goes for bright and well-lighted for Fall of the House of Usher.

I’m unfamiliar with Poe’s source story, but Corben has a protagonist called to visit an old university friend. They’re both artists and the friend–the titular Usher–has taken to doing incredibly like life portraits of his sister.

Corben’s art is just fantastic; he’s constantly surpassing himself this issue. He’ll have one unbelievably great page and then do another even better one.

The tone is particularly interesting too. He goes for uncanny, with only the occasional flash of something visually disturbing. There’s something going on behind the scenes–something the protagonist doesn’t know–and the reader’s acknowledgement of its presence is what makes the comic so uncomfortable.

The cliffhanger seems a little forced, but it’s otherwise excellent work. If only Corben could do twice as many pages.


Writer, artist and colorist, Richard Corben; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Daniel Chabon, Shantel LaRocque and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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