Writer: Federico Memola
Artist: Cosimo Ferri
DieGo Comics Publishing Ltd
Not being very interested in the occult and witch craft in general, I am always skeptical when I have to read something that deals with the paranormal, including comics. So when I get the chance to review a comic like this one in particular, and really enjoy it, it has to be a really good comic. This however does not mean that ‘Rourke the Hexbuster’ is perfect. It only means that this story in particular is good and entertaining.
Rourke the Hexbuster is an atmospheric and thrilling horror fantasy graphic novel set in Ireland. The main character is a troubled, unwilling and often-inebriated hero. Rourke suffers a great burden, he has the ability to take curses bestowed upon others and laden himself with them, so that he might save the victims from their turmoil. He also has to look after his daughter but most of the times; it’s his daughter that looks after him.
In this story we find Rourke dealing with a curse and afterwards accepting a new client that takes him to the town where he was born, Kilkenny. While trying to figure out what is wrong with Fiona, a girl that everyone thinks there is something wrong with, Rourke and his daughter are drawn in a conflict between the favorites of the moon, witches, and an order led by a priest.
The Story has a cinematic feel to it as it is very fast paced and has solid character development. The main focus of course is between the relationships forged during the adventure. Fiona and Rourke’s daughter, being both girls of similar age, easily relate to one another and this gives our hero a personal attachment to the chase. This story doesn’t end in the conventional happy ending way, in fact, something that really surprised me is the way the ending is rushed with nobody actually being accountable for a number of deaths that happen during a said adventure. I like that the writer pushed the story away from mainstream endings, however, I found it a bit irritating that he glossed over other aspects, such as, the police investigation and some more explanation about the Priest and the order.
Another thing that I found weird is that in the panel on page 83, a character starts speaking in Italian without any explanation or even other characters acknowledging this change. In the next panel everyone speaks in English again as if the Italian bit never happened. The black and white art is good and appropriate to the story. I did find the narrator’s lettering very hard to read even at close up. Also at some points I did wish there were a little bit more levels of shades as certain moments felt eerily anti-climactic without any atmosphere to complement the story.
Not a perfect book, but a very enjoyable one. If I am given the opportunity, I would read more stories of Rourke and his daughter as I feel there is the potential for a wonderful series.