Monday, 26 January 2015

Fantasmagoria: Book One Review

Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written and Art By
Stephane Cote

Psychological, Horror, Adventure


Montreal succumbs to nuclear strikes and Felly, a young man from the city, narrowly escapes to the outskirts, where he falls in with a group of misfits who live in Bedside Manor, the former honeymoon hotel of Fantasmagoria, the fun park for adults and ultimate destination for love, revenge, rock n roll and radioactive chaos.

The graphic novel includes a musical soundtrack as well as video material with exclusive images not available in the book, which enables the reader to experience Fantasmagoria fully.


One of the things that struck me the most about Fantasmagoria is that it is incredibly hard to put in to any particular genre.  There are moments in the story that could be classed as horror, some as psychological and even some that feel like an adventure story.  That's one of the things that impressed me the most if I'm completely honest.

With Cote's writing and art style merging superbly, it almost gave the story an other wordly feel yet it also feels realistic in that you get completely sucked in to the story.

The story itself works really well.  The pacing is one of the main strengths because there are moments where you feel like you're settling in to the story but at the same time, there are moments where you are literally smashed over the head with information and shocking events.  It's quite hard to talk about the story without giving too much away and if I was to sit here and reveal some of the moments in this story that really hook you in, that would be doing Cote a real diservice.  The tension and the shocks are built up so well that this is a story that you can come back to again and again, learning new things and noticing the little subtle things that Cote has snuck in to the tale.

Art wise, the book looks utterly stunning.  I loved the mix of sometimes using a simple angle to help pick out a detail that moves the story along.  Also, the beautiful sometimes soft art really rammed home some of the harder moments too.  It's the art that helps to give the story that other worldly feel that I mentioned earlier.  It's also as if your eyes can't decide if it's really there or not.  I loved that because of the simple fact that it gave the story the impact that it needed.

This is definitely a title to keep an eye on and Cote is a name to keep up with too because if this first book is anything to go by, the series is going to be absolutely fantastic.

Story 8/10
Art 8/10
Recommended 8/10
Overall 24/30

The first book is available to read for free here along with the accompanying soundtrack as well as video's to further the story!

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