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The Hidden Hardcover – September 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (September 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993866
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Post-apocalyptic stories tend to be grim, but The Hidden is very dark indeed.... The book feels like a modern-day gothic horror. The survivors are metaphors for humanity, with a heroic few battling an onslaught of monsters, human or otherwise.... Sala’s illustration is compelling... 4 stars [out of 5]” (Grovel)

“In this deliciously gothic graphic novel, …[w]hat unfolds is a Frankenstein-style nightmare told through scrawled speech bubbles, where reality, memories and dream states combine. The mental and physical landscapes are harsh and expressionist, and there's a twist in the tale…” (Eleanor Goodman - Bizarre)

“’Gothic humor’ sounds like an oxymoron. That’s probably why so few comics creators — Charles Addams, Edward Gorey — have pulled it off. You can now add Richard Sala to that short list.” (Details)

“Sala's unique brand of creepy quirk combines Edward Gorey, Chester Gould, and Charles Adams with his own unclassifiable magic. The Hidden, from Fantagraphics Books, is his most ambitious work -- an intimate apocalypse.” (Joseph McCabe - FEARnet)

“It helps if you can illustrate your fever dreams as well as Sala can… [The Hidden] is beautiful to look at, and as usual, he gives us memorable grotesques and lovely girls in equal measure…. His best since he wrapped up Evil Eye a few years ago.” (Johnny Bacardi - Popdose)

“Richard Sala's new full color graphic novel, The Hidden, fuses two classic horror tropes -- the story of Frankenstein's monster, and the ever-popular zombie apocalypse -- into a new form that is surprisingly free of cliché and enriched with a strange sensitivity...” (Casey Burchby - SF Weekly)

“At a time when many alternative comics seem to be impulsively created page by page, Sala’s epic, tightly woven narrative is especially commendable.” (The Onion)

“...[E]asily... one of my favorite horror comics and one of my contenders for my Best of 2011 list.... There is an excellent story of slow-building despair to be found in its pages, with gorgeous depictions and coloring and a horror story that shocks, surprises, and entertains.” (Rob McMonigal - Panel Patter)

The Hidden feels like a Poe short story, but Richard Sala actually reaches further back into gothic literature for information, filtering Frankenstein through a zombie apocalypse. Just like Poe, the fun here is all in the telling, and Sala’s campfire-ghost-story illustration is blunt enough to be cynically hilarious and cruelly gory, often at the same time. The allegory is the same as from Shelley’s original, but like the best gothic writing, the fun comes from putting the pieces — all the pieces — together at the end.” (David Berry - National Post)

The Hidden isn’t just an entertaining riff on well-worn horror concepts. Taking his cues from Mary Shelley, Sala explores human vanity and arrogance as a way of showing how everything can go so wrong so fast.” (Noel Murray - The A.V. Club)

“Clever, compelling and staggeringly engaging, this fabulous full-colour hardback is a wonderfully nostalgic escape hatch back to those days when unruly children scared themselves silly under the bedcovers at night…” (Win Wiacek - Now Read This!)

“Undisputable fact: a new full-length Richard Sala book is a literary and comics event that makes you sit up and take notice…. This book is a magic trick, the kind you'll want to share with friends because you can hardly believe what you've witnessed when it's all done.” (R.J. Ryan - Comics Bulletin)

“Richard Sala's latest graphic novel is an allegory weaving together post-apocalyptic chaos, class structure, ye olde Frankenstein analogies and a big-picture morality issue. We'll leave it to readers to determine if The Hidden is spooky escapist fare or politically polarizing commentary, but we can't deny that the characters (including the mutants) are plausible and the illustration is positively inviting.” (Alternative Press)

“Sala’s work is like a fusion of Hergé and Charles Addams, yielding a simple, cartoon-like style that makes his moments of gothic horror all the more disturbing. ...[The Hidden] is a beautifully pulpy and incredibly imaginative book that gives a fresh spin on a well-used set-up.” (Publishers Weekly)

“...[W]hat Sala does well, he does very well indeed. There’s quite a lot to love in The Hidden, with some scenes in particular that will stick with the reader for a long time.” (Greg McElhatton - Read About Comics)

The Hidden is ridiculously good, silly fun... and Richard Sala’s absurd humour bleeds through the lot like red ink on a crisp white collar.... It is, to hammer it home with a bloody mallet, an absolute demented joy.” (Hayley Campbell - The Comics Journal)

“Graphic novelist Richard Sala cures the zombie apocalypse malaise with a new book that takes the basic set-up of those tales and turns it into an artsy, comical, downright weird exercise in terror that brings together several slices of the horror genre... into something modern and surprising. …The Hidden [is] a modernist horror tale that acts like the zombies it evokes, cannibalizing the genres from which it sprang and spewing out something new from those entrails.” (John Seven - North Adams Transcript)

“In this outing, [Sala] combines motifs of a postapocalyptic landscape, wanderers, some vampiric businessmen, and, ultimately, Dr. Frankenstein. The stew works perfectly... and it is only at story’s end that the opening pages become horrifyingly clear. Sala works with a full palette of beautiful, gemlike hues held in generous panels.” (Francisca Goldsmith - School Library Journal)

“Sala’s new book, The Hidden, does not wholly depart from the campy fascination with the morbid that marks his previous work, but is even darker in tone, despite the vibrant watercolor work. The visual markers of Sala’s humor are present — the affected font, the twisted faces — but there is arguably something more serious and disturbing at play here.” (Jenna Brager - Los Angeles Review of Books)

“This is Sala’s second book in colour, rich in red and orange, but it’s the first, I believe, to dispense with all hope and humour — apart from the man with the Marty Feldman eyes. He’s taken the Edward out of Gorey and the tongue from his cheek, replacing it there with shovels, hatchets and stakes!” (Stephen L. Holland, Page 45)

About the Author

Richard Sala grew up in Chicago and now spends his time in Berkeley, CA. His graphic novels include Mad Night, Peculia, Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires, Maniac Killer Strikes Again!, The Ghastly Ones, The Chuckling Whatsit, Cat Burglar Black, Delphine, and The Hidden.

More About the Author

Richard Sala grew up with a fascination for musty old museums, dusty old libraries, cluttered antique shops, narrow alleyways, hidden truths, double meanings, sinister secrets and spooky old houses. He has written and drawn a number of unusual graphic novels which often combine elements of classic mystery and horror stories and which have been known to cause readers to emit chuckles as well as gasps. Although most of his books are written with teens and older readers in mind, his book, CAT BURGLAR BLACK, can be enjoyed by younger readers as well. He has also collaborated with Lemony Snicket and Art Spiegelman, and his illustrations and artwork have won awards and been published all over the world.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Humphreys on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The world is overwhelmed by an unexplained catastrophe, and we follow a small group of shocked survivors as they head for a refuge in the desert. It could be a B movie plot, and is certainly gripping: but the characters are much more engaging and rounded, while the superb full-color illustrations give it a depth and melancholy atmosphere that puts it in a class of its own. And there are still several nasty moments and a twisty ending to keep you guessing.

Most of Richard Sala's works are a surprisingly satisfying blend horror and comedy. Here, the fun is downplayed; instead we have a dark and at times moving exploration of some meaty themes, such as the way the old and powerful in society exploit the young, or humanity's inability to learn from its mistakes. It's thought-provoking, at times uncompromising but ultimately hugely satisfying.
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Format: Hardcover
A briskly paced tale of cataclysm, the post-apocalyptic aftermath and a band of survivors that stumbles upon the truth of what triggered the calamity. All in all, this is a tale with a fairly epic scope that is further accentuated by Sala's simple and expressive illustration.
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Format: Hardcover
Most artists are collections of their influences and ideas; only a very few are purely themselves, with no admixture of anyone else. Richard Sala, I'd say, is in that select company. Oh, sure, his creepy graphic novels take place in worlds not unlike those of Edward Gorey or Gahan Wilson, but his characters are entirely different -- and Sala seems to have arrived in that neighborhood by entirely different paths.

THE HIDDEN is right in Sala's usual milleu, an apocalyptic story in which one tough young woman -- this time named Colleen, and darker-skinned and more sensibly-shoed than usual for a Sala heroine -- finds herself in the midst of supernatural horrors, deep secrets, and more than a few up-close-and-nasty deaths. This time, the apocalypse is sudden and all-encompassing: monsters burst forth on the second page, and the explanation (such as it is) doesn't come until nearly the end. But what does it matter why or how the world is ending? The time to worry about that is before it ends, and it's far too late for that in THE HIDDEN.

So Colleen, and her boyfriend Tom -- who wants to be strong, but young men never fare well in Sala's graphic novels -- were lucky enough to be out in the wilderness when the worst happened, and so are still alive and wandering. And they were lucky, or perhaps very unlucky, to run into a wild-looking man who doesn't know his own name. He leads them to a group of other survivors, and Colleen learns the monstrous secrets of their guide -- of the creature he created, long ago, and the race of monsters that creation has patiently made and now released on the world.
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