The art in Eleanor and the Egret shouldn’t work. It feels like a weird mix of Art Nouveau and Fritz the Cat. Normally, this kind of style clash leave a dull itchiness under my skin that I can’t ever quite get any relief from. But in this book, it really works. Both of these exaggerated end up feeding each other and making the mix something really unique.
The same thing can be said about the story as a whole. It is a mix of detective story, fairytale and magical surrealism. And when I say it like that, I can hear the readers groaning that it sounds terrible. But in fact, it really does work. I have to think that there are few publishers out there, who like Aftershock, would be willing to publish this, because it is so unique.
As the issue begins, it looks like Lady Landroot has everyone just where she wants them. Eleanor is trapped in jail and Belanger has been fired from the police and is no longer a detective. But just when all hope seem lost, a tiny heron with an appetite for art named Ellis, comes up with a plan.
John Layman and Sam Kieth really have come up with a truly original work. It is clearly modeled after European comics and that pays off with dividends in this case. There is a real sense of dread and menace throughout the book and it is well balanced with the humor. The humor in the book is well used and doesn’t undercut the drama inherent in the scenes.
This is a great issue in what has been a really entertaining series, so far. If you are a fan of independent books, this one might have slipped under your radar. But if so, it would pay off for you to pick this up and enjoy the journey.
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Sam Kieth
Colorist: Ronda Pattison