Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Eleison Creator(s): Jaime and Elena Carrillo
Publishers: Here There Be Monsters Press (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2.95(US)

Tricky one this. You see I am not sure that this is actually a comic. The cover certainly gives the impression that what lies within is indeed a comic but I am not convinced. If the definition of a comic is a text consisting of sequential art where words and pictures complement each other and work together then this is not a comic.

If the concept of a comic requires word s and pictures to work together in an interdependent manner to tell a story then this is not a comic. What Eleision presents us with is a page of prose followed, or indeed preceded, by a single large picture. There are no speech bubbles, no sequential art, no close interweaving of word and picture and therefore no comic.

BUT whatever this is it certainly is good, very, very, good.

This is a beautifully presented and beautifully told first instalment. The art work is of a stunningly quality often containing a wonderful mix of fantasy and reality. In this way it is entirely appropriate to a narrative that also mixes these two elements.

Eleision is set in the wild world of frontier America, it is a tale of the tensions that inevitably arise when two cultures collide. It is a tale that treads that blurred line between religion and superstition and the fragile gap between heaven and hell.

On the one hand we have the somewhat timid Pastor William Peck who when confronted with an incidence of what appears to be vampireism within his "flock" turns to Father Jean – Marithe Baptiste [known to the Indians as Waabooz] for advice and assistance.

The problem is Father Baptiste is a heavily tattooed renegade priest who is living a somewhat unconventional life with a group of highly protective and suspicious Indians and therefore a less than desirable associate for the somewhat conservative Peck.

So we have the interesting meeting of two men of God, one meek and conservative the other raw and rugged. A case of two different interpretations of the same faith crashing together.

The common ground however is the desire to confront and the defeat evil that has arrived. Then lurking behind all of this is the figure of Decimus Quintilius the Roman legionary of Satan’s army. He may be in the background here but you can be sure that he will be taking a more prominent position in the near future. Intriguing.

This new title promises much and I have little doubt that it will deliver but I am still not convinced that it is a comic. The question I need to ask myself though , is that does this really matter?

In a Word: Boundary-breaking.

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