sorry than he's ever been before. While the joke is stretched just a little too far on occasion. The Apo/ogi'st does shine an unfavourable light on our own sorry society. which is exactly what good satire should do. (Kirsty Knaggsl


(Bloodaxe Books) 0...

The author of this delightful new volume of poems describes her creative process as being ‘like b0iling an old turnip and straining off a contemporary soup'. And what a rich and tangy broth Cheryl


Follon has contrived. Throughout the volume. Follon’s verse does indeed combine formal restraint With verbal riotousness to boisterous effect. the poet turning her blithe bitchiness to an array of subjects and characters.


Hitchcock Style (Assoullnel O...

: J “t

For one. she is the sharp-eyed chronicler of a grotesque event or occasion. as in 'The Party'. which is 'full of ugly sisters and all their brothers too'. She also vividly, sensually captures atmosphere. her skill beautifully illustrated by 'Upstairs at the Red Hole Tavern' a place ‘famous for its women who flavour their cunts with sweet- smelling flowers'. Follon's is such a strikingly confident voice that her compendium of bawdy tales and wild personalities Will have you whi/xing through it in an hour and longing for the next instalment. (Allan Radcliffe)

Suspense has never been so stylish

When you associate the films of Alfred Hitchcock with an ‘5’ word, there’s one obvious candidate: suspense. But coming a close second (perhaps beating sadism and seduction) is style. Hitch’s films were riddled with the stuff. From the Frank Lloyd Wright villa in North by Northwest, the Saul Bass credits for Vertigo, Edith Head’s sumptuous wardrobes and on to the ever impressive cast/cattle an array of beautiful, flawed, middle-class ladies and debonair, repressed, middle-class gents - style oozed from the screens both in stark black and white and scorching Technicolor.

And this excellent addition to the Hitchcock coffee table catalogue from French critic and author Jean-Pierre Dufreigne tackles all of these topics and more in chapters such as ‘And the Little “Cock” Became “Hitch’”, ‘Then Choose the Bad Guy . . . and ‘Special Effects, Perverse Effects’. His text is written with real verve and panache (you could be complimentary on its very Frenchness), keen to attack the tired old cliches about Hitch (voyeurism, sadism) and thriving on an ability to find a new take on such areas as his production line of starry blondes: were they often closer to being perfect housewives wronged by bad lads than filthy whores who

deserved to be punished?

But the pictures steal the show; film stills, on-set shenanigans, art inspired by his movies, fashion spreads and vivid European posters all give us fresh, eye-popping perspectives on a director who was loved and feared

by audiences and critics alike. (Brian Donaldson)

106 THE LIST l1-1.Ji.'i;/‘<,(,-'.


Pascal Croci (Abrams) .00

Using a single family as a microcosm of the holocaust. Frenchman CroCI blends fiction and documentary to comment on the bloody repetition of history. from the titular Nazi camp to the Balkan killing fields. The dialogue. heavily influenced by eyewitness accounts. may communicate the banality of evil. but a febrile sequence in the gas chambers aside. the art. torn between realism and expressionism. lacks emotional impact. Croci's chronicle will Suffer from comparisons with Art Spiegelman's more poetic aus. and indeed its brevity offers little opponunity for emotional engagement. A brave attempt to tackle a momentous subiect. Auschin is a work of conSCience. but not of brilliance.

(Dave Martin)

SPOOKY NOIR CRIMINAL MACABRE Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith (Dark Horse) 00

Cal MacDonald is a

chain smoking. codeine sucking hunk of a private dick. His specialism is the paranormal and he likes to spend the insomnia hours beating the crap out of evil vampires. ghouls and werewolves. The trouble is no one else. particularly his ex- police buddies. believes that the undead underworld exists. So when the sewer dwelling tribes come together to conspire against the human race. McDonald finds himself alone against the rising horde. With a forward by Rob Zombie. there is no dOLibt where the sympathies of this gothic. Silly. reassuringly nihilistic series lie. From the same creative team who gave us 2002's 30 Days of Night. this is. however, very much Niles' series (for despite this being McDonald's first protagonist Outing. Niles has name checked him several times before). Templesmith's blurry. scratchy inkings are annoyingly ill conceived while unfortunately exposing the conventionality of this whole pseudo Marlowian affair. The

Underwhelming the underworld in Criminal Macabre

main trouble is that Mignola's Hellboy series really has closed the book on this kind of thing. (Paul Dale)


(Titan) 000

it I" :1

(1‘9 ,-,-f Neatly synthesising the unique take on the superhero genre that Alan Moore all but patented with works such as Watchmen and V For Vendetta into more digestible chunks. his Own America's Best Comics label is the comic book equivalent of a Successful rock stars vanity label. Featuring a universe of Moore-devised characters from Top 70. Promethea and Torn Strong as well as extracts from First American strip (illustrated by Mexican MAD magazine alumnus Sergio Aragones) along with a typically fiendish League of Extraordinary Gentlemen board game this serves as a handy primer to the great man's most recent work. Not as epic as his earlier stuff. mind. and guest writers like Peter Hogan trail in his wake.

(David Pollock)

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