Ashleigh Brilliant once succinctly said that not being able to do everything was no excuse for not doing everything that you can and I guess I fell afoul of the mantra that I try to incorporate into my daily grind when City of Others originally appeared on the shelves of comic book stores everywhere. I missed it the first time around, but thanks to Dark Horse reissuing it as a gorgeous, oversized hardcover to acknowledge, mark and celebrate its tenth anniversary, I was finally able to make up for my error of omission and submerge myself in this tale of emotionally void assassins , vampires, the undead, black hearted alchemists, lycanthropes and their complex, interwoven relationships and stories.
City of Others plunges its audience headlong into the world of Blud, an unfeeling killer for hire whose curiosity leads him into the middle of, and finds him becoming an unwitting pawn in, a centuries long conflict between the last of the nosferatu and their ancient enemy. Featuring more mindless violence, wanton mayhem, slaughter, blood, guts and gore than the entire contents of the below the counter nasties box that every eighties video rental store kept for their favoured customers, City of Others puts the h back into horror via a combination of masterful storytelling and beautifully detailed, never shredding art.
While Niles’ straight shooting, plot heavy prose and fantastic characterisation are more than worth the price of admission, it’s Bernie Wrightson’s classic EC influenced imagery that’s the real selling point of City of Others, as it lends it a classic, timelessness that feels as fresh today as it did ten years ago and will still be a decade from now. Artistically, Wrightson really was the master of monsters and all things horrific and while the four colour universe will never see his like again, we can still revel in, celebrate and enjoy his talent and work thanks to books and stories like City of Others. Thoroughly recommended. Tim Cundle