In the first group reviews done by Cornwall Graphic Novel Group, Tim, Matt and Emily took a look at volume one of Neil Gibson’s Twisted Dark graphic collection.
The collection presents you with a number of twisted and dark tales that have the potential to leave you feeling uneasy.
There are various types of stories in it from crime, to people who have psychological problems. As you read the various tales, each one has a different main character of various nationality, backgrounds and histories. Gibson keeps you interested by messing with your various feelings for the characters, some you feel shocked, some you feel sorry for and maybe for some you may feel understanding.
Whatever else I could say you won’t be easily bored with each story that gives a real world like feel with how some of these things could happen to real people.
It’s not often I’m enthralled by a concept.
But the works of Neil Gibson have me hooked. Here is a man who is showing great talent at sinister/suspense story telling.
Twisted Dark is collection of short stories with a twist at the end. A simple concept one must admit, but he does it so damn well, all the acclaim he’s received is well deserved.
The art styles vary from tale to tale, which is very effective, it always being on the slight edge of uncomfortable. You’re always out of your comfort zone, which nicely adds to the experience. Especially with the stories ‘Routine’, ‘Blame’ and ‘Münchhausen’s Little Proxy’.
But I must highlight the story of Rajeev. It is touched upon twice throughout the book, Born in India and growing up poor he comes to the United Arab Emirates to seek his fortune and does it in a very imaginative way. The twists build and grow in his story. This is one of the stories I want to see the end of very badly.
I live in hope that Gibson will write full stories as well as the collections of shorts he does now.
Because if he doesn’t the world will be missing out.
In any work of fiction, it’s unusual to be presented with protagonists that you will almost always fail to like. It makes the piece challenging to read and in some ways it is that challenge that makes the story worth continuing with to the end.
Gibson never asks us to emphasise with the characters he puts before you in his tales that take a look at the darker side of humanity. Though at times it does feel like he wants us to hate them, rather than try to understand why they do what they do. And in a way this mirrors a movement in much of our current media to ignore the rationales behind the crimes that people commit.
For me, this was particularly the case in the story ‘Munchhausen’s Little Proxy…’ a tale about a woman with Munchhausen’s. A serious mental illness in of itself, I question whether Gibson’s take on it being less than sympathetic to the sufferer in the tale was wise. And while the story does shock, perhaps it should have done more.
The collection is definitely worth a read, because of the way it challenges your preconceptions, but don’t expect to like many of the characters that are paraded in front of you.
If you’re after something indie and different then give it a go.
Twisted Dark: Volume One by Neil Gibson is out now. You can find out more details on the graphic here.