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Ragemoor Hardcover – November 20, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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About the Author

Allie writes and edits comics and stories for Dark Horse Comics and other publishers. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Melinda and their phantom cat, Shadow.

Allie writes and edits comics and stories for Dark Horse Comics and other publishers. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Melinda and their phantom cat, Shadow.

The Marvel and Other Short Stories is a collected anthology of six short stories written by the winners of the Austin Macauley World Book Day short story competition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ragemoor
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; 1st edition (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595829644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595829641
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How much weirdness can you handle? That is the question to ask yourself before you dive into "Ragemoor." Cockroach cooks, skull-faced baboons, Giant bug cults in the basement, and a man blowing up like a balloon then popping and spewing maggots all over. That's how "Ragemoor" rolls.

I knew nothing about "Ragemoor" before opening its covers other than that it was Richard Corben doing Gothic horror. That right there was enough get my interest. Corben has been active recently drawing Mike Mignola's Hellboy stories and some recent work in "Dark Horse Presents," but it has been awhile since I have seen him working on an original series. Jan Strnad is an old writing partner of Corben's, and seeing those two names together was more than enough to seal the deal.

"Ragemoor" is the story of a castle. A dark and twisted castle, Ragemoor has grown organically from stone, blood, and evil over the millennia. Its first stones were laid over 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, and human sacrifice and dark rituals fed the stones until they grew large and formed structure. Even now Ragemoor is not silent, but reshapes its corridors and rooms every night to suit its own fancy.

Trapped in Ragemoor is a family. How they came to live there, or what their attachment is to Ragemoor we get only hints at. Some of the members are allowed to leave, to seek their fortune elsewhere, while some are slowly driven mad inside its walls. The last remaining inhabitants are Cousin Herbert and his uncle Machlan. While Herbert is resigned to his fate, Machlan has been driven mad and now roams the castle naked, climbing up the walls like an ape.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up Ragemoor purely for Richard Corben – a horror comic drawn by the legend himself? I’m in! And on the art front, I wasn’t too disappointed, but found the unpronounceable Jan Strnad’s script somewhat lacking. That said this might be a case of the writer accommodating the artists’ wishes, like Corben gave Strnad a list of things he wanted to draw and Strnad tried to make a story out of it.

The book is an interesting mix of two horror staples, Poe and Lovecraft. Ragemoor is a huge gothic castle perched on the edge of a cliff, inhabited by a young aristocrat and his faithful butler, who is visited by a relative and his wife who’re looking to scam them out of their castle. Except the castle is ALIVE – it’s literally this massive stone Transformer that goes from being a monster to a structure and back, over and over! Built atop the blood and bones of a death cult, the grounds are defended by skull-faced baboons from innumerable moloid-like creatures and the castle’s staff consist of a small team of Kafka-esque giant bugs! And the young aristocrat can never leave…

I liked the old school horror aspect of the comic. The gloomy haunted castle and its history is corny as hell but when presented alongside Corben’s art, I can forgive a lot. Strangely, Corben’s black and white art does seem to deteriorate in quality as the book continues. I’m not sure if it’s because he ran out of time and rushed it, or it’s intentional like the art becomes less detailed and focused because the characters are getting crazier and its reflecting their loosening grip on reality.

And while seeing Corben illustrate this book’s horrors is certainly delightful, after a while I wished there was more of a story here.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love a lot of what Strnad and Corben do together. This was quiet Poeish to me, but it felt like something just a little too good for Eerie and Creepy. Unlike their Aladdin story, this didn't have much re-readablity for me. Worth A read though.
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Format: Hardcover
Normally, I prefer to see Corben writing his own stuff, but this is one of the tightest stories I've seen him illustrate. I liked it—until the end, when it unravels a bit. Up to that point, the plot development was brisk and engaging, and the chapters well-structured.

The artwork serves effectively in telling the story and sustaining a mood. Beyond that, it's not much to look at. The digital production is solid, though. Corben uses two to three different tones ("grey holds") for his caricature-heavy line art; it works, but not much better than standard black. To this, he adds flat tonal areas, gradients, and occasional bits of airbrush-style modeling. Keep in mind, modeling is normally drawn by hand, directly on an artboard, using pencil, for a realistic effect. The "airbrush" method is a quick-and-dirty shortcut that doesn't much resemble the real thing. It's sort of an "enhanced" line art style. Back in the day, this technique would have been copped using airbrush on an acetate overlay, à la "Rip In Time"; now it's added digitally.

I see a lot of parallels to Corben's Rat God series, which followed. For instance, the lead characters are virtual doppelgängers. I enjoyed the artwork in that series a bit more—not because it was in color, but because he occasionally aspired to greater heights in his rendering, particularly on the covers (and in the series’ third issue). However, I think this book compares well. If you enjoyed Rat God, you'd be silly to miss this one.

The book concludes with a brief sketchbook (3 pages) of thumbnail doodles, which reveal a uniquely loose, cartoonish approach to character and setting development.

BTW, I think a more stylish presentation would help this book.
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