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SciFi Pulse Reviews Driver #3

Review by Wayne Hall

Driver For The Dead #3 of 3. I continue to enjoy bragging on this company, so let me get to it!

First, though, here’s the book’s description: “Alabaster Graves is the Driver for the Dead. He and his hearse, Black Betty, handle the more “lively” cases in New Orleans: vampires, angry ghosts, the not-quite-dead. Earlier tonight he was sent to retrieve the body of one of the town’s most famous and beloved spirit healers, Mose Freeman, with Mose’s granddaughter Marissa along for the ride.

“Unbeknownst to Graves, he was not the only one after Mose’s body. A necromancer named Fallow, along with his gang of undead toughs, was also in town murdering other supernatural practitioners and stealing their powers by attaching powerful pieces of their corpses to his own piecemeal, undead personage.

“Now, Fallow has injured Graves, stolen Mose’s body and kidnapped Marissa. Graves, rescued by a group of woodsmen and their mysterious leader, has discovered three things: who Marissa is, why she’s so important to Fallow… and the only possible way to save her: He must hunt down the fabled Loup Garoux, an ancient and deadly werewolf created by Marissa’s own grandmother, kill the creature, and steal the voodoo-cursed knitting needle from its chest. And that’s the easy part … .”

Radical Publishing continues to be just that … Radical. They do things right instead of on time. Now, that may seem to be a problem. After all, comics are a habitual medium, meaning one buys them from week to week out of habit as a powerful force.

Instead, what Radical does is, within a reasonable time frame, they let the editors, writers and artists do the best job they can and make a superior product.

One book that leaps to mind as a perfect example is Hotwire: Deep Cut by Steve Pugh. It hasn’t come out on a monthly timetable, but that’s fine by me. I love the art, the story, the whole book, so I’m willing to wait until it’s ready.

And that’s what Driver For The Dead is like. It hasn’t come out monthly, but boy, am I glad it came out this week!

Reading it feels more like watching a movie than reading a comic. The colors are richer, the action more dramatic, the story more cinematic.

The tale being told is a perfect marriage of story and art. I have to give cudos to John Heffernan, creator and writer; Leonardo Manco, provider of pencils and inks; and Kinsun Loh and Jerry Choo, who gave us the gorgeous paints. And there’s an exceedingly cool reveal in this issue about the lead character and his role in mythology. I enjoyed that a lot.

The thing is, I’m not much for horror. When one can measure the blood and guts in quarts, I get queasy. But Driver For The Dead makes me hurry to turn the page so I can see what happens next!

Really, this comic should be a motion picture. (And not a motion comic, either … a real movie!)

I’m sure this will be collected into a trade paperback with some extra goodies soon, so if you didn’t get a chance to pick up the individual issues, don’t miss the collected edition!

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