Murder Mysteries, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
Expected Release Date: May 27, 2014
" Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell venture into the world of myth and angels in this new edition of their noir-fantasy tale. Constructing and maintaining all of heaven and earth is an immense task, which God has divided up amongst the various ranks and stations of angels. As with any huge effort, there are bound to be casualties. Lights is shed on the lords behind creation as one lonely man in Los Angeles hears the story of one particular unspeakable crime: a murder in Paradise."
Murder Mysteries is a short story that appeared in Neil Gaiman's collection, Smoke and Mirrors. It was then made into a graphic novel by P. Craig Russell in 2002. And now, in May, it is being re-released, but with lots of extras.
So let me first discuss the story-
This is a beautiful and sad tale of the first instance of love, and the resulting pain that it created. It is also the story of how Lucifer is set upon his path. It is a story about the justice and the fairness, or lack thereof, of God's creation. It is a story of vengeance and regret. And because it is written by Neil Gaiman, it has all of the wonder and enchantment we have come to expect from his tales.
When you then add P. Craig Russell to the mix, you get a story that is now as visually gorgeous as it is richly imagined.
Everything, Russell does, from color to panels to word bubbles is carefully thought out, and expertly done. And that is where the new content comes in- after the comic itself, we have pages and pages of Russell's concepts and explanations of his choices. This is a fascinating look into just how much thought and planning goes into an adaptation like this. We see examples of the initial sketches, first attempts at color choices and the whole evolution of the comic, from concept to the final product. And for me, that was fascinating. I really enjoyed getting to peek into the mind of a great comic creator and see just what he was thinking when he made this work. So, if you are a comic lover, or an aspiring creator, this new edition will be a treat.
This was an advanced copy that I got to read, through NetGalley, and it is one that I definitely want in my own collection when it comes out. Five stars.