Monday 15 August 2016

Review! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - Limbo, Volume 1

Title: Limbo, Vol 1

Author: Dan Watters

Artist: Caspar Wijngaard

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy*, Crime*, Horror* (*ish)

Series: Limbo (#1-6)

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

This graphic novel sees itself as 'neon-noir' and, well... I just had to find out more!


Clay is a private detective. He also can't remember who the hell he actually is.

And, between the femme fatale, the crime-lord, the craziness of Dedande City, and his voodoo priestess room-mate, Clay's going to have a rough couple of days...

Best bits:

This book has a style all its own.

The visuals are really something (and yes, neon-noir is a great way of describing it - think MTV meets Stephen King,) and the whole layers-of-plot, layers-of-being thing? Wow.

Yes, my dearest nerdlets, this gets a bit metaphysical/existentialist. But that's ok.

It's nice to have something with layers of meaning - you gotta love stuff that makes you think.

And it's not pretentious, and does a fair amount of random sh**, just to keep it all interesting! ;)

But back to the visuals - what we have here is the bold touch of monochrome mixed with Las Vegas neons.

I know - it doesn't sound like it makes sense, much less that it should work. It sounds like the epitome of a chocolate teapot.

But it works. Somehow. Someway. It works.

I also like the mix of cultural elements going on here - all of the technology is stuck firmly in the 1980s; I'm talking VHS and cassette tapes, landline phones, y'know - pre-Internet.

Combined with this we have elements of a voodoo-based mythology, and elements of a Day of the Dead style mythology, with a smidge of some other stuff for good luck.

The plot is... well it's certainly unique! Again, I actually really liked the whole layers-upon-layers deal-y going on - levels of meaning and all that jazz!

Not so great bits:

Honesty time - for some people, all of the trippy visuals and bizarre goings-on is going to be just too 'out-there.'

(I wish those people well, but know that I will never be one of them!)

There's also a butt-tonne of swearing, loads of gore/violence, and the odd 'adult' reference. So, y'know, I've done my duty and told you nice folks - up to you what you do with the info.

I did find a little... out of control? loose? - at times. There was just a touch of the sense that the tangles of the plot might be getting out of hand at times.

Largely, with a plot so far-out as this, that isn't much of a problem, though.
(Certainly, if I'd attempted this, it would have devolved into chaos pretty damn quick!)

I also felt like we maybe weren't getting the depth of character required?

Now, I know there was hints of a lot of backstory. But we were left with very little idea of what the backstory was by the end, which, along with the lack of all that much character development, left that side of things a little under-done.

Still, there's the potential for that to improve in future instalments, so s'all good :)


This is... well, there's no two ways about it: this is impressive.

It's ambitious, unique, highly stylised... and I can't wait to read more!

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  1. It kind of sounds like the Incepetion effect with things being layer upon layer. But that sounds good to me! And the artwork looks detailed and absolutely lovely. I am actually really appreciating it from the looks of the cover.

    1. I wouldn't have equated it with Inception... just because it has such a different feel to it really. Yeah, I loved the style of the artwork - really unique! :)


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