A member of the long-running small press collective Backwards Burd, Shane Melisse is a regular face on the London small press circuit. His projects have included Joel and his contributions to Backwards Burd anthology projects like F*ck You! Kitty Jenkins. His latest self-published short form comic is The Knight, a peculiar tale of tragedy, forces from beyond the grave and geekdom.
Somewhere outside our perception, and yet simultaneously at the very heart of our reality, the knight fights an enduring battle against legions of supernatural horrors. But his existence is a solitary one, trapped as he is in an indefinable space between the cold environs of a twilight graveyard and a fantasy limbo. What is the true reason for his neverending quest and how does it tie into a more prosaic, fannish reality…?
The Knight is something of a mash-up of ideas, being part reality-busting short story and part twist-ending comedy horror tale but it’s Melisse’s highly atmospheric visuals that are the main draw here. The opening pages are full of big bold striking imagery counterpointed with flowing panel-to-panel battle sequences. Colour is used to enhance mood effectively, the deep dark purple hues emphasising the sense of foreboding and oppression that permeates the knight’s world. Melisse adopts a style here that is both impressionistic and highly expressive, giving the book a suitably nightmarish quality.
There are visual cues as to the “reality” of events in the first half of the comic but when the revelations come there’s an element of morbid humour to the knight’s situation that will bring a wry smile to the reader’s face. This is very much an offering though where the impressive organic visuals take precedence over the narrative. Those wanting to see the artist in action can do so at the next Gosh! Comics and Broken Frontier Drink and Draw…