Elsinore #4


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Elsinore #4


  • Words: Kenneth Lillie-Paetz
  • Art: Brian Denham, Mark Sparacio, Fernando Granea, et al.
  • Inks: Jamie Mendoza, Richard Zajac
  • Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: Mar 1, 2006

Elsinore is back! This issue is the maddest, most torturous yet …I mean that as a compliment.

I have never professed to truly understand this title. Elsinore is a beguiling enigma, a book that stands out as being both refreshing and unique in this storytelling genre.

Ken Lillie-Paetz returns to steer his twisted tale, with this issue the strongest example yet of Ken’s scripting. He confidently delivers a tale that sweeps across time and various planes of existence, one that delves into the subconscious of the mad characters he has concocted.

As promised by Ken, a lot more begins to make sense in #4, not only for the characters themselves, but for the readers too.

The book’s opening introduces us to the new series artist, Mark Sparacio. His work is cleaner than the sketchy, edgy style of previous artist Brian Denham, however the shift is an assured one.

To add to the thrill, this issue is graced with the work of seven different artists. While in many other books "drawn by committee" this would be a distracting folly, in Elsinore it works like a masterstroke. We are, after all, dealing with a mad world on the precipice of the apocalypse. The constantly shifting art styles serve to reinforce the unstable nature of insanity.

Jean-Francois Beaulieu is back on the colors, and his work serves to keep a unified look to this tale. As ever, his colors are haunting, alluring and the perfect blend of the darkness and light that pervades this world.

At the centre of this ever-shifting universe remains Dr. Murchison, the newest clinician at Elsinore Mental Hospital. Plagued by dreams, visions that are being invaded by the subconscious of Elsinore’s deranged inmates, Dr. Murchison calls on a colleague for help.

When we enter the world of Murchison’s dreams, all hell breaks loose, literally. Alternately, he dreams of a mad, warped world, a possible love interest, the actions of a secret society …But it is the dreams of patient Vever, the cartographer of hell, that are the most unnerving of all.

With visions of the apocalypse raging through the story, steps are taken to set future arcs in motion with the suggestion of a preemptive attack on hell. As Dr. Murchison rouses from his horrific subconscious journey, there is a new vitalized urgency that marks his character. He has seen what the future will bring, and he is ready to act.

If you enjoy clearly defined story arcs, with neatly placed plot twists and compartmentalized progressions of character, Elsinore is not for you. If you are a passionate fan, keen to discover the work of creators on the cutting edge, Elsinore is your book. One could easily call this a horror book, but Elsinore is a work that defies definitions. At once mesmerizing, twisted and terrifying, Elsinore is a confident tale, unlike any other on the spinner racks. It is a page-turner that wraps you up in a straight jacket and doesn’t let go.

For those of us struggling to define this book, Ken Lillie-Paetz does it best when he writes:

"The mystical can come out of the common-place so easily. The transition into madness can be so subtle that the common-place soon becomes the mystical. Divinity and madness…Who is to say that there is any difference in these words? Who decides which is which?"

Indeed. I eagerly await future issues, all the time hoping that these questions, along with others, will be answered.

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