Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Echoes

ECHOES(Minotaur/ Image, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Echoes Nos. 1-5 (cover dates December, 2010- April, 2011)

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov/ Artist Rahsan Ekedal
I first encountered Echoes in a Top Cow sampler trade that collected six #1 issues of new titles before they were published in single magazine format, all for $4.99 MSRP. Echoes #1 haunted me, not in a boo, scary way, but in a way where I couldn't stop thinking about it. While it is indeed a Horror book, it is 21st Century smart while being grounded in the finest of Horror traditions. My backlog is enormous, often taking me 9-12 months or more to get to something by the time that it rotates through my stock. I didn't even realize that this book was solicited, and then I saw that it was being released. I grabbed it on a quasi-impulse, quasi-compulsion and did something that I haven't done in years. I immediately read it the day that it was released.
The premise of the book, without giving away anything (this blog is a no spoiler zone unless indicated in red): Brian Cohn is a man who suffers from schizophrenia and loses his father after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's. On his deathbed, his father confesses a secret...a black, dirty little secret that threatens to push Brian far over the edge. The question of whether all of this is real or imagined is the crux of this story, and it works extremely well. I will tell you nothing else of the plot, aside from the fact that it's a great read that is worthy of your hard earned discretionary income.
The OCD zone: The book boasts nice paper stock but has incredibly stiff binding. It looks perfect bound (read: glued) but I noticed stitches in at least one spot that indicated sewn binding. The book signatures do not upwardly arch like books with sewn binding typically do as you read them, so I am leaning towards calling this glued. It's most definitely a two fisted read, moustrap binding type of read. Don't let that deter you from giving this book a try, though, as it is a great read. The cover has a screen printed image which is partially revealed through the die-cut dustjacket. Fancy production values, binding aside. Lots of DVD style extras in the back of the book, including a full color cover gallery. (The main story is in black and white.)

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