The Great and Secret Show #7


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The Great and Secret Show #7


  • Words: Chris Ryall
  • Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Inks: Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Colors: Jay Fotos
  • Story Title: Mission of Death
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 15, 2006

The battle for the art rages on, as Tesla confronts Kisson in a time loop and Howie begins to understand the full scope of his father’s powers.

We’re now gearing towards the climatic battle in IDW’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s Great & Secret Show, and much of this issue delves solely into the heart of the matter. So far I am finding this series to be faithful to Clive’s imagination and I think this is turning out to be a very successful attempt of adapting the writer’s works to comics once again. Most of his previous adaptations done by Marvel Comics were all good attempts, but this one has far exceeded all my expectations.

The issue opens with Howie and Jo-Beth encountering many strange phenomena occurring within the town of Palomo Grove. The town’s entire habitants are all having images from their dreams manifest into a reality, and this is causing Howie and Jo-Beth to wonder what the significance of this is. Then to totally compound matters, Tesla has traveled out into the desert to find Raul, but she doesn’t anticipate running into Tommy-Ray (now dubbing himself the death-boy). Tesla gets herself killed and is then unexpectedly brought back to life by the mysterious Kisson who then goes on to explain the true origins of the Art and of the role she will play in the final confrontation.

So if you are still trying to figure what this all adds up to after reading my synopsis then I say hang tight and read further. A series like this is jammed packed with big moments with the intent of having epic proportions attached to them, and I think writer Chris Ryall has done an admirable job of keeping the story on target. What I really like about his dialogue and plotting is how he has managed to stay true to Clive’s original intent and because of it all the characters ring true from the source material. This is one of Clive’s best novels and it’s nice to see an adaptation that follows the narrative as closely as this project does.

The art on the other hand has also surprised me in more ways than one. Firstly, it’s so hard to envision this book in a different medium, so artist Gabriel Rodriguez has managed to create a distinct look throughout. All his characters have been brought to life to stand out individually, and in some ways their sequential incarnations are not far off from how Clive has written/described them in the book. Secondly, the source material is rife with an abundance of fantastic imagery and it has certainly not stopped Gabriel from finding the artistic inspiration to rival all of Clive’s surreal descriptions in two-dimensional form.

I am thinking this issue perfectly exemplifies the nexus of Clive Barker’s imagination, and overall this series has remained on par providing quality story and art every single issue. The Great & Secret Show has always remained a personal favorite of mine in terms of Clive’s pantheon of imaginative fiction, and this adaptation ranks right up there as well. If you haven’t already been reading this series then I suggest you run out and do so because this one is indeed the greatest show of all.

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