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Dark Entries (Vertigo Crime) Hardcover – August 25, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Popular mystery novelist Rankin writes fan-favorite John Constantine, from the long-running comic Hellblazer, in this original tale from the new Vertigo Crime imprint. Although the character has a history dating back to Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing, Dark Entries requires no prior knowledge. Paranormal investigator Constantine is recruited by a television executive to look into a locked-room mystery reality show that appears to be haunted. The guests, already on edge, are tormented by terrifying visions that only they can see. Of course, the only way for John to investigate is to join them. The job becomes very personal very quickly as Constantine comes to know and care about the people who share his privacy-free prison. The show's producers are more concerned with ratings than the human suffering before them, and in a way, they seem almost as inhuman as any horror Constantine has gone up against. Dell'edera's work is expressive and crisp, done almost entirely in sharp pure black inks with barely a hint of shading in sight, with an elegance to horror sequences that's far more Dante than slasher film. Possibly the best Hellblazer work in years and a strong ghost story in its own right. (Aug.)
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Review

This is a graphic novel as it should be, a thrilling, beautifully paved page turner.A" - Sunday Times Culture Well executed, full of actionA" - Guardian A bone-cracking page turnerA" - SFX Magazine Dell'Edera's bold black and white illustrations are a perfect match for Rankin's gruff writing styleA" - The Financial Times An inventive mystery, packed with unexpected twists and sly humour, and ably complemented by Werther Dell'Edera's spare and effective artwork.A" - The Spectator "If your not a comic book reader, but enjoy Rankin give this a tryA" - The Scotsman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Vertigo Crime
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1St Edition edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401213863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401213862
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the comic book world crime comics have a steadily growing cult following. As the industry continues to expand past the superhero genre, DC/Vertigo has decided to experiment with a "Crime" line of books, and among the first batch is Dark Entries.

Written by crime novelist Ian Rankin (Exit Music) and illustrated by Italian artist Werther Dell'Edera (Loveless, Punisher War Zone), Dark Entries stars Vertigo regular John Constantine of Hellblazer fame.

A new reality show is on the air in England, a show that's designed to instill fear into its participants. The contestants are trapped in a "haunted house" with the rigged scary bits at the control of the producers, and the only way to win and end the terror is to find and get into the hidden room with the mysterious prize. The contestants in the house have started seeing disturbing ethereal images and are truly frightened. The problem is that the producers of the show haven't switched on any of the automated horrors. These visions are happening all by themselves. After much convincing, primarily using a large wad of money, John Constantine agrees to go investigate. Of course, all is not as it seems, and there's more to this mystery than at first meets the eye.

The writing is fine, if bland and predictable. The "reality TV show gone awry" concept has been done. The narration jumps around between different characters' points-of-view without explanation or a clean transition. One page we're in Constantine's head, the next we're in one of the gameshow contestants' head. And the twist at the end could have been good, but somehow failed to grab my interest.

The artwork is black-and-white, with intentionally rough line work, and zipotones added to flashbacks, dream sequences, or other surreal moments.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm an enthusiastic reader of comic books over the years, and a big fan of the graphic novel format. I've read John Constantine on and off, and enjoyed many of his exploits, beginning with Garth Ennis's bang-up job on John Constantine, Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits, continuing through the brilliant Warren Ellis's arc in books like John Constantine, Hellblazer: Setting Sun and, perhaps, hitting its single-compilation fit peak with Brian Azzarello's raunchy, psychologically complex and tricky Hellblazer: Hard Time (Hellblazer (Graphic Novels)).

So, I was excited to see the prolific and well-regarded mainstream crime/mystery writer Ian Rankin take a stab at the enigmatic magician Constantine. I always enjoy the attempts of writers who've achieved success in other areas take a stab at telling stories through sequential art, which is not as easy as it looks and an art form in itself.

So, how does Rankin do? Unfortunately, just OK. The first half of the book is great, especially the first couple of pages, which establish a cheeky, satiric look at John Constantine's London. I also loved the book's set-up - snarky, cynical Constantine sent in to troubleshoot a reality show gone spookily bad? Brilliant.

But once we start learning what lies beneath Dark Entries promising setup, the story falls apart.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must for Hellblazer fans. This is not the best and if I was a little less fan and a little more critic I'd be tempted to give it four stars. BUT... I'm not. Rankin, like every other Hellblazer author from Delano to Azzarello channels Constantine perfectly. The story is a nice bit of mystery which Constantine sorts out for you by midway, leaving the second half a s*** show of 'how do I get myself out of this flamming hot pickle.' Definitely recommend for fans or for those looking for a good supernatural thriller.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first of the Vertigo Crime graphic novels that I read, and like the subsequent books in the series, it excells on every level.

Ian Rankin shows a real comprehension of what makes John Constantine(of the Hellblazer comics) tick, and what makes for an engrossing Constantine story. His writing is spot on for the character. His devil-may-care attitude, smirky and witty sense of humor, and genius deductive skills are all on display here. His knowledge of the supernatural world comes through exactly as you'd expect from a Constantine tale. He knows better than anyone how to bedevil the devil, and this book makes you root for him all the way through. The other characters are also fleshed out very well and make entertaining and valuable contributions to this cleverly conceived, horrifying take on the world of reality tv that permeates our current society. There are twists aplenty, and the balance of suspense, horror, mystery and dark humor is quite satisfying. Rankin(who I'd never heard of before) is easily one of the best writers in this genre I have ever come across. His storytelling combined with Dell'edera's wonderfully expressive and bold pure pencil and ink style incite a creepy yet fun environment to throw yourself into. This leads me to Dell'edera's artwork.

Werther Dell'edera(another name I'd never seen) displays a firm grasp on what sort of disturbing images and creative perspectives leave the reader feeling truly uneasy. A job well done.

I would recommend this graphic novel to any fan of Constantine or suspenseful horror mysteries in general. It's terrifying fun that will make you an instant fan of Constantine and/or creators Rankin and Dell'edera.
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