Written by Martin Hayes, with art and colours by RH Stewart, and letters by Paul McLaren
There are a few constants in life. Things that none of us can escape. It doesn’t matter if you are a billionaire or a beggar – death is inevitable. Or it should be. There is certainly plenty of death in this first issue of Hob’s Lane.
A courting couple discovers a gruesome and bloody corpse. This is the first linkage between the cycle of life and death that often hovers around horror. The second comes when one of the investigating police officers recognises a neighbour. That neighbour is John Tate, a scientist who recently lost his wife, and it seems, lost his mind.
Hob’s Lane has many of the classic horror traits including transformation scenes that look bring to mind An American Werewolf in London. But there is something else lurking in the background, something eldritch, something from a world of tentacles and impossible geometry. Something in the public domain. Yes, everyone’s favourite pulp genius and unfortunate bigot, H.P. Lovecraft – a favourite of publisher Blue Fox Comics.
If you like to see the rain soaked streets of a typical British town soaked with mystical blood from an alien horror dimension then you should definitely check out this book.
From the bony, slimy otherworldly things that skitter in the shadows to the tentacle that rises from the yellowish green depths on the back cover there is no escaping the implication that this scientist may have taken an unfortunate turn in the attempt to cheat death of its prize. A Faustian pact with the abyss.
There are some very effective panels in the book – particularly scenes of transformation. We see a sweat soaked John Tate in the early hours, the room saturated with an unearthly purple. Many of the depictions from artist R.H Stewart put me in mind of Kevin O’Neill’s work on the classic 2000 AD strip he created with Pat Mills, Nemesis the Warlock.
These fantastical elements are grounded in a very ‘normal’ depiction of Britain, with the murder investigation familiar to anyone who enjoys police procedural drama on TV. If you like to see the rain soaked streets of a typical British town soaked with mystical blood from an alien horror dimension then you should definitely check out this book.