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The story of the Gentlemen Warlock continues in the second
volume of Courtney Crumrin Tales and although reading the first volume
enhances the story, you’ll find that it’s not required to enjoy the second volume. The
tale begins with Alice and Aloysius pretending to be engaged while at Lady Emma’s
latest party. They’re there on a Society
visit and it’s soon revealed that Emma is actually sucking the life/beauty
out of young women by bathing in their blood. Emma makes quick work of Lady
Emma, who turns out to be Aloysius’ aunt, but the two allow Fred to take credit
for the Society.
From there one of Goose’s men show up to find Alice and Aloysius locking lips, he’s looking for Goose who’s been missing for six months. At the end of the first volume Goose was turned into… a goose and has remained as so ever since. The story continues as the Society has brilliantly stumbled upon a town that is the mother-load of magic or according to the society “evil.” Alice and Aloysius are sent to the town as newlyweds with Goose’s man Daniels as their driver. Little does everyone know that the town houses all of Aloysius’ secrets just waiting to be revealed.
Fans of the first volume will not be disappointed by this light-hearted magic induced story from creator Ted Naifeh. The real draw to this book is Aloysius and his mysterious past as a warlock who now seeks to destroy other warlocks and witches on his great grand mother's behalf. He’s by far the most interesting character and his relationship with Alice is as complicated as any real relationship making their interactions very dynamic at times. Although the story is mostly light-hearted, it still deals with real emotions like love, tragedy and loss. Naifeh manages a great balance between the dialog and narration to keep the story moving at all times, but never leaving the reader behind.
The art work is very enjoyable and perfectly suited for black and white. It gives the book a sense of age that fits with the time period in which the book is set. Naifeh has a very realistic art style that matches the fantasy magic story line. Something that will likely stand out to readers will be the talon shape fingers that all the characters share. At first it can be rather distracting, but then it feels right for the story and in a weird way fits the world that Naifeh has crafted. What’s most striking about the art are Naifeh’s close ups on the characters faces in which he’s able to show a real level of emotion from the characters.
In general the second volume of Courtney Crumrin Tales is a great read and has a great price attached to it. At $5.99 and 56 pages that’s like getting three comic books for the price of two regular comics and this is a self-contained story. If you’re looking for a magic story that doesn’t drill it into your face and has deep character development then I highly recommend picking up League of Ordinary Gentlemen from Oni Press.
Overall Score – 8.5/10
*Worth any comic fan's time and money.*