By Justin McCarty
The Siren’s Song is the follow up to the critically acclaimed Here Be Monsters. Griff and Justine find themselves chasing a mysterious cult committed to ridding the world of blasphemers, especially Griff Gristle. They will challenge Griff in new ways as well as make him deal with the loss of his wife.
This is probably one of the most fun comics I have read this year. It’s incredibly well-crafted protagonist is unlike any other hero out there. The artwork is an homage to Mike Mignola if he drew underground comics in the late sixties. The colors betray the Hellboy influences in a very positive way.
The nautical dialogue was so much fun to read. The story kept its pace straight to the end. Even when it takes time for the character moments the story beats keep coming. While not much is resolved this issue, it is still a satisfying read. The moments are rich enough to keep you invested and the action sharp enough to make want to turn the page. I really want to know what happens in the next issue. There is enough depth to Griff’s world that the story is able to hint at things to come. You never feel like what you just read is all there is. To reiterate, Griff is a great character. The other principle players do not feel as well fleshed out though, Justine has more to her story but it’s not central to this conflict, which centers around Griff and his wife. Justine is a great counterbalance to Griff, who needs an opposite to really make him work. Their contrast is a big part of what makes the story so much fun.
The artwork is fun. It feels just short of being underground. Rory experiments with iconographic images allowing basic shapes and composition to tell the story. He saves the detail for the rich establishing shots of the ports and town backgrounds. The layouts were not always clearly readable for me. Some panels overlapped in ways that mislead my eye, causing me to read panels out of order. The colors kept the tone of the story consistent, with just enough contrasting color to draw the eye to the important elements.
When I first came across this comic my initial reaction was that this could be a really fun read; I was right. The drunken sailor/fisherman archetype is not usually the main character in a sea story, which is surprising since it is such a fun archetype with a lot of story possibilities.
Griff Gristle has a long future of drinking, singing sea shanties, and fighting monsters ahead of him. I'm looking forward to Griff Gristle: The Endless Voyage.
Griff Gristle: The Siren’s Song