Chris's Reviews > Baltimore, Vol. 2: The Curse Bells

Baltimore, Vol. 2 by Mike Mignola
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: comic-books-and-such, fantasy-dark, vampires, netgalley-and-other-arcs
Read in May, 2012

Note: I receieved a free copy via Netgalley.

Baltimore: the Curse of the Bells.

I’ve never read Hellboy. I read, a long time ago, Rocket Raccoon which was the absolutely wonderful min-comic series when I was kid. When I picked up the Baltimore book, I was happy to see the connection. Mignola, Golden, and crew have an ability to weave truly gothic tales and refer to great works of literature. It’s wonderful. And this is coming from a reader who was turned off comics and graphic novels for the longest time.
This story is part homage to Poe as well as bringing to mind Ann Radcliffe and Lewis’ The Monk. It also is a more modern version of the old Hammer House of Horror movies.
On a quest to kill a vampire, Baltimore finds himself surrounding by fallen nuns and working with an American reporter. What the pair uncovers is a plot to seize control of people’s minds and a reference to another historical event that to reveal will be a spoiler. The story combines the best of speculative fiction, gothic mood, creepiness, and humanity that the best novels do. This is, in part, because the story challenges the reader, not just the current romantic view of vampires, but also with what constitutes humanity, holiness, and rightness. It’s good when a work does this and it what makes these stories worth reading.
That and all those references.
It isn’t all dark. There are some dark and funny moments, in much of tradition of a dark comedy.
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