By Mike Carey
Art by Jim Fern
Here’s a graphic novel that is different from my usual super hero fare. It’s a mix of horror and fantasy set in modern
The covers are in the flattened style of Japanese wood block prints, but with the rich decorative touches of Klimt. Which, considering his influences, makes sense. The interior art, however, is more realistic, drawn with clean lines. The colors, while probably applied digitally, look like watercolor washes. All in all, Jim Fern's artwork is appropriate for the tale and a pleasure to view.
The protagonists are an unusual pair of twin teenagers. Toshi Hara was born a minute before midnight, while her twin brother Kai Hara was born a minute after midnight. Though the timing of their births is a symptom of their cursed heritage, rather than the source of their problems. Because of the actions of her ancestors, Toshi can’t be cut by edged weapons, and on her birthday is visited by a supernatural being named Aratsu, the Lord of Knives. Aratsu wants Toshi to be his servant, and he does not take her refusal well. He tells her he will return and ask her again, after she has seen the grisly results of his displeasure.
The rest of the book relates Toshi and Kai’s struggle to escape Aratsu’s demands. As might be expected, some of their actions involve the supernatural and other kami, like Nidoru who presides over the Needle and the Pin, and a dragon of shadows. But other more mundane avenues are explored too, which involve school bullies and, of all things, an unexpected Yakuza connection to their family. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but I don’t want to give too much away. I really enjoyed this graphic novel and discovering a mythology I’m not familiar with. My only complaint is that we don’t have Volume Two on the shelves.
You can reserve Crossing Midnight by clicking here.