Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery

What do you get when you cross Nancy Drew with Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense? You get someone like Agnes Quill. Dave Roman's Agnes Quill: An Anthology Of Mystery is a highly entertaining and original collection of comic book adventures.
Agnes is a spunky young girl with the ability to talk to the dead. Turns out the dead lead complicated lives - issues need to be resolved, missing objects need to be found. Fortunately Agnes has an appetite for mystery and a head for solving them. She takes on cases for a fee to supplement her regular income and make ends meet.

Roman creates memorable undead characters and gives them genuine motivation and well thought out backstories. He makes Agnes a calm, fearless girl who is not averse to getting pally with ghosts and getting them to help her out (peering into rooms is a repeated request).

The collection has seven stories rendered by four different artists - each creates a visually different version of Agnes. Jason Ho gives her restricted, measured movements - rendering her as a bored, goth child. Raina Telgemeier creates a cartoony, uppity Agnes. Jeff Zornow infuses her with a swashbuckling Indian Jones demeanor and finally Roman himself mans the pencils drawing Agnes as a distorted cartoon.

Part of the charm of Agnes Quill is its dark humor. In The Mummified Hierloom, a torso less pair of legs is running rampant. Agnes picks up a shotgun to try and stop it. Frantic, she asks: "Now where exactly is his heart? Or brain? ... whatever's controlling..."
A nearby ghost whispers in her ear "In my experience it's usually between the legs, deary"


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