Alabaster: Wolves in Dark Horse Presents #9

By Chuck Suffel

International Horror Guild Award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan brings one of her most enduring and popular creations to comics! Dancy Flammarion, the albino girl and monster hunter who first appeared in Kiernan’s 2001 novel, Threshold. From Dark Horse: “For nearly as long as she can remember, Dancy Flammarion has fought monsters, cutting a bloody swath through the demons and dark things of the world, aimed like a weapon by forces beyond her control or questioning.”

Caitlin R. Kiernan & Steve Lieber are launching their new series Alabaster in April. The first story, however, appears in Dark Horse Presents #9 out Feb 22nd. I got a sneak peek at that story. First stories can be tricky, especially when the character is established in another medium. Do you do an origin story? Do you set the scene? Page of exposition perhaps? No. Eight pages of story. Toss us right in let us try to swim with the current.

It. Worked. Perfectly. The premise isn’t groundbreaking there’s a girl who fights evil, monsters are real but trust me that’s where the similarities to other series end. I’d never heard of Darcy Flammarion before but it didn’t matter. I didn’t fall in love with her, something better happened, somehow for eight pages I was mesmerized. She’s tough, focused, believes in what she’s doing. She’s also weird and more than a little crazy. We aren’t given a clear picture of the world she lives in but suffice to say it’s bad and she’s trying to make it better. Allusions are made to some kind of event that caused the world to change though we aren’t told what it was or how long ago it happened. I won’t spoil what does take place in the story but I will say it was one of the tensest stories I’ve read in a long time. I was totally wrapped up in it. When I hit the end I realized I had been holding my breath the whole time.

The art is by Steve Lieber and it’s great, he’s known for such amazing work as Whiteout with Greg Ruka, Underground with Jeff Parker and this is right on par with his best stuff. If Dark Horse puts out any preview images you can be sure I’ll post them right here!

I hope the series, due out in April, packs the same feeling that little eight pager did. I’ll tell you one thing I’ll be there to read it. And I’ll let you know what I think.

Don’t forget February 22nd!

Dark Horse Presents #9
Writer: Paul Pope, Neal Adams, Brian Wood, Mike Mignola, M. J. Butler, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Steve Horton, Andrew Vachss, Tony Puryear
Artist: Paul Pope, Neal Adams, Michael Dialynas, Kristian Donaldson, Joe Querio, Mark Wheatley, Thomas Yeates, Steve Lieber, Geof Darrow, Tony Puryear
Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Genre: Short Stories / Anthologies
Publication Date: February 22, 2012
Format: FC, 80 pages
Price: $7.99
UPC: 7 61568 17843 2 00911

Followed April 11th by!

Alabaster: Wolves #1
Writer: Caitlín R. Kiernan
Artist: Steve Lieber
Cover Artist: Greg Ruth
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 11, 2012
Format: FC, 32 pages
Price: $3.50
UPC: 7 61568 20295 3 00111

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