Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Publisher Spotlight - Cross from Kult Creations

In this second spotlight on independent publisher Kult Creations we take a look at another of their fantastic titles ...

Cross #1

If you've never met the Reverend Abigail Cross before, get ready for one Hell of a sermon, cuz she isn't your average vicar

Boasting a eye-catching cover, two hugely enjoyable done-in-one stories, fantastic dialogue and some very nice interior artwork Cross just about has it all.

So, who is the Reverend Abigail Cross? First, and arguably foremost, she's a vicar in the sleepy Dorset village of Sunnybrook.

Employed by the Church of England and under direct orders from the Archbishop of Canterbury - naturally - Reverend Cross's duties include opening the village fete, caring for her parishioners welfare and ... oh yes, she's 'licensed to kick demon ass' of course!

This first collection of Cross features, as I said previously, two stories. The main feature, told across twenty pages, is called 'You Only Die Twice' and sees Reverend Cross travel to the Bavarian Alps in Austria intent of arresting the notorious Wilhelm von Klaus of the late Nazis Secret Supernatural Warfare Department. Having arrived at von Klaus's sumptuous home and politely - she is English after all! - asking him to give himself up Reverend Cross meets with a little resistance as her prey summons his very own zombie army.

One by one the zombies are eliminated until the Reverend eventually comes face to face with her target - Wilhelm von Klaus. Before she can apprehend him von Klaus reveals that he has no intention of allowing himself to be captured ... and the story concludes as the best stories often do: with a clever - and unexpected - twist!

The back-up feature, entitled 'If Looks Could Kill' is a fun six page short story that sees our heroine Reverend Cross confront the villainous Count London in search of the anti-Christ codex.

Confirming that the Reverend isn't carrying a fire-arm the Count orders her killed - and at that point Abigail demonstrates just how resourceful she can be. Leaping free of the Counts bodyguards and coming under heavy fire she fashions a make-shift weapon - you really do need to read the book to find out exactly how! - and lets fire taking down several of the 'heavies'. Just as it appears that a crisis has been averted the Reverend finds herself once again at gunpoint ... until she uses her shoes as both an imaginative weapon and an original means of escape.

As I indicated at the top of my review, I really did enjoy my first encounter with the Reverend Abigail Cross and her gallery of rogues. Each story was a real page-turner, I enjoyed the supernatural elements and they certainly made me smile.

I think we get a somewhat different interpretation of Reverend Cross over the two stories. In the first I read her as a woman in her late 30's, super confident in her abilities and, with her vast array of weapons and fighting skills, very-nearly unbeatable. In the second story I saw a younger, maybe early twenties, less confident and more vulnerable woman still learning her 'trade'.

The dialogue had a very 'tongue in cheek' feel about it throughout - fun, funny without ever being silly. There were numerous throwaway one-liners and quips that gave me a feel of the classic The Avengers television series.

The art was very much to my taste - clean, clear, plenty of detail - particularly with some of the facial expressions - with a lot of depth to the panels. I appreciated the imaginative page layouts as well as the inside-front-cover introduction to the world of Cross.

In summary, this first full issue of Cross was a wonderful read - but don't take my word for it pick up a copy and find out for yourself.

Cross #001
Written by John A. Short, illustrated and lettered by Jason Dennis
Published by Kult Creations, black & white illustration, 2010

There we have it: Cross and The Sixpenny Murder - just a couple of the great titles available from Kult Creations which can be purchased through their website or in person at one of the many comic expos they'll be attending in the months ahead.