Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen
Helen Mullane, writer; Dom Reardon, artist; Matthew Dow Smith, layouts artist & title page illustration; Jock, cover & page 3 illustration; Lee Loughridge, color artist
Humanoids, 2020

This starts out looking like a typical YA story: the title character (who goes by "Nissy") is spending the summer with her mother and younger brother in a remote cottage in Northumberland. She would much rather be in London with her friends, and spends most of the opening scenes in a grand teenaged sulk. But things take a weird turn when her brother and friends find a dead body in the woods, clearly the result of some kind of ritual murder. A seemingly innocent neighbor (who Nissy has a crush on) eventually reveals himself as a mage using the sacrifices to summon the ancient gods of Britain. When the gods appear they are displeased: by killing NIssy's mom and threatening her he has inadvertently spilled blood from a long line of witches. After a brief Wild Hunt, the fairy queen exacts vengeance and offers Nissy a place in her court. After hearing that her father and brother cannot come because they are not fae, Nissy declines, and the final scene is her comforting her brother. I could easily imagine this as a Vertigo OGN: it occupies a similar space of magic and horror. Dom Reardon is a British artist mainly associated with 2000AD. He has a style both realistic and impressionistic, which I could imagine on Hellblazer. The book is full of lush landscapes (as well as gruesome horror), and includes very creative panel design.

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