Written by: Steve Niles
Art by: Christopher Mitten
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Released: September 25, 2013
If the childbirth explosion doesn’t set a tone, my the utter ridiculous, anti-hero, Cal McDonald should. This pill-addled ghoul is recovering from the vicious vampire versus ghoul battle that nearly razed Los Angeles. The new ghoul acts as a detective, attempting find out why so many of his kind are dying at a rapid pace. The comic flows along with a fantastic narrative that bends and shapes the characters though every darkened corridor and alley. Steve Niles has a passion for these characters, adding a warm sense of truth under mounds of cold flesh and bloodshed.
I love the gloomy feel of the title. Niles enjoys interjecting moments of contemporary humor into the dark book, and it’s a winning combination. There’s a generous sprinkling of everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Hellboy making up the monsters in Criminal Macabre. Cal must later help Frank restore his fading vision. A ghoul helping a Frankenstein monster is just funny enough to be cool, adding more depth to the book.
Mitten’s art is perfect for the title. His gritty monsters and epic scale locations give the comic something all its own. The red-eyed ghouls and sudden bursts of panel color set this apart from a lot of their competition. Soul in a horror comic; that doesn’t happen a lot. I’m looking for to the next issue.