Review – DTHRTL by Bob Turner

DTHRTL – Book 1 of 3

Created by Bob Turner

Full Colour, 20 pages.

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Reviewed by Gareth Sleightholme

Bob Turner’s wordless comic (even the cover appears* wordless) plays with varied rigid-format panel layouts and a graphic character and environment aesthetic, reminiscent of both side-scrolling platform games and the clean lines of Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan books, all to tell the tale of a Hokusai admiring recluse and reluctant hero who within the first two pages of this fast paced book challenges Death itself, then heads off on an adventure with nothing but their wits and a rucksack stocked with a handful of important items (including what I can only assume is special forest-dwelling monster-gang distracting bacon**). Our protagonist’s journey is filled with perils natural and unnatural, curious landscapes, and monsters…

Yet, you can’t help feeling that under the Herriman-surreal landscapes and the seemingly simple narrative there is something rooted in classical antiquity happening here. Scenes have a archetypal, monumental familiarity, like an echo of something half remembered from a folk tale or myth.

I am, without doubt, intrigued…

It’s lovely stuff, each panel beautifully graphically balanced, with each page equally balanced. To the point where every character design, panel, page layout and double page spread could be a winning Threadless T-design. But here we have a whole book.

For me, picking up DTHRTL II will definitely be in order. I’m looking forward to it.

Find out more at: castlerockcomic.bigcartel.com

NB. I was fortunate enough to get time to chat to both Bob and his TBF table-mate Alan Henderson (Penned Guins) both at the show (briefly) and down the pub, so that was great. You should follow them on twitter, @castlerockcomic and @Shadow1972.

The weirdest part of all this was getting DTHRTL home and realising there was a great parallel between DTHRTL and one of the books I put out this year, Drakon… especially in that last scene. Weird.

*beyond the graphical, hexagram-like two-tier stack of DTHRTL type tucked behind that beautiful cover illustration.

**to be fair, that’s probably just one of the powers of regular bacon (bacon, the unsung superfood).

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