Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is 500 pages of some of the best art I’ve seen all year, it really brings the feel of the movies to a book. Unfortunately, I remembered that I don’t actually like the movies all that much. I really like the idea of them. That hell opens up when you unlock a puzzle box and demons are actually a bunch of weirdly sexy BDSM extremists who spend eternity inflicting an exquisite pain on the damned. I love puzzles! But the movies, and this book, are kind of slow, kind of bogged down with a philosophy that isn’t fleshed out enough, and try to make the conflicts too large when a personal existential crisis is good enough for most of us.
There are two things though that I absolutely loved about Hellraiser Omnibus. First, the aforementioned art. It’s stunning. The colors, the designs, the spectacle. I would be proud to hang many of these pages on my walls. The digital download took my very out of date tablet an hour to download and I’m guessing the art had a lot to do with that.
Second, is that this book contained some reverse fridging that I got very excited about. If you are unfamiliar, I wrote about fridging as a literary trope a bit back, find it here. The gist is that a woman will get killed off as a way to kick start the hero into action. This book starts with our female hero, Kirsty Cotton, finally accepting her boyfriend’s proposal after he is brutally slaughtered.
I have to give huge credit to a book that breaks the trope by killing off the man instead. This book also has some much appreciated equal opportunity graphic nudity. It’s mostly women but there is a penis on proud display toward the end! If you’re gonna do nudity do it all the way!
There are definitely some positives about this volume but overall I did not find the plot very engaging and kept going for the pretty pictures more than anything else.
3/5 happy demons 😈😈😈
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Buy it here: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 (1)