Excerpted from a review by Richard at FanboyConfidential.com
Alabaster Graves is a New Orleans-based hearse driver that has a bit of a specialty– he transports the bodies of people who may have died under supernatural circumstances, and is trained to deal with all the ramifications that may entail, such as the body rising from the dead and trying to break out of the coffin and such. It’s a time of great danger though, as a necromancer is systematically killing those with mystical talents, and as Alabaster gets drawn into the plot he may find that his destiny reaches further than he could ever have imagined.
This month Radical Books [released] the collected edition of Driver for the Dead, a comics work by [Snakes on a Plane] writer John Heffernan, which has a concept that’s just as wacky. It’s a lot of fun; in a world where witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies and so forth, exist, of course there would be people who specialise on transporting the victims of such creatures, knowing the rules and the lay of the land for any forthcoming eventualities that may occur on the way to the funeral.
What’s well worth your hard earned dollar [...] is the incredible artwork. Leonardo Manco, a veteran of supernatural and superhero comics, won fans over with his atmospheric style on Vertigo’s Hellblazer title but was slightly ‘miscast’ by Marvel when they put him on their more tech [oriented] War Machine book. Always inking his own work, Manco generally opts for a scratch, inky, almost messy look, which worked especially well for grungy, urban stories. With Driver for the Dead, a more fantastical look at the supernatural than Hellblazer, Radical have teamed Manco up with digital painters Kinsun Loh and Jerry Choo, who in [turn] have pulled his inking right back and blended it into their own work, creating overall visuals that are simply stunning and making Manco’s already formidable work look the best it ever has.
It’s not just the style, either, there’s plenty of dynamism, clean, easy to follow story telling and well-paced action sequences. Not to gush too much, but in short, Driver for the Dead is one of the best looking books currently on the market, and if this is an indication on the direction that Radical Books are headed, I for one am going to be keeping an eye on their future releases, and the big publishers out there should be taking note.
B grade – for originality
C grade – for storytelling
A grade – for artwork
Overall grade – B
Click the image to go to this article in full at Fanboy Confidential or click here to learn more about Driver for the Dead!