Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Coffin

The Coffin is the first of Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston's psychological horror collaborations, and it's really good. The publicity for the book markets it as being a Frankenstein story, in which the scientist turns himself into the monster. That's a bit simplistic but not too far off. The plot involves a scientist working on a suit capable of trapping a soul in a corpse, allowing the soul to control the body after death. An attempt is of course made on his life and he is forced to test the suit on himself. A fairly ordinary revenge story follows.

However, what makes the story interesting is the toll on the protagonist's psyche. He is trapped in his own corpse, while his soul is constantly trying to tear itself away (despite the fact that he seems bound for hell). This makes for an interesting vengefull ghost story on top of the typical mad scientist tropes.

And then there is Huddleston's art, which elevates the story the story even further. Huddleston is an incredibly atmospheric artist who is able to greatly modify his style to fit any given scene. And it probably helps that Hester is a decent artist in his own right, and thus someone who really knows how to write for an artist, making for a pitch perfect collaboration.

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