1 June 2011

The Absence by Martin Stiff

Some people are saying nice things about Martin Stiff's The Absence, and I'm happy to join them.

I found out about it thanks to the Forbidden Planet International (FPI) blog that I subscribe to just so that I can find out about things like this. It makes a pleasant change from the superhero comics that some of the blogs concentrate on.

The Absence is very English in a good way. The mood is Midwich Cuckoos meets The Damned (not the fine punk band but the excellent Hammer film from 1963 shot in and around my former home Weymouth).

It's set jut after the last war in a quiet coastal village that is steeped in mystery. Several in fact. Three issues in to the story and we are eager to learn what happened in the protagonist's past, why villagers are disappearing and what is being built on the hill. The suspense is killing me.

The drawing style appears simple but flows nicely and the composition of each page and panel reinforces the mood. It must help that Martin Stiff does both.

The collection Volume One that arrived this week, and was quickly devoured, combines issues 1 to 3 of the 6 part story. Issue 4 is not expected until the Autumn so it will be a little while until we get to the end and, I hope, see a few of the mysteries solved.

Did I mention that the suspense is killing me?


  1. Wow, thanks for the lovely review, Matthew - and thanks for buying it! Very pleased you enjoyed it. Sorry for the delay in my response - as it happens, I first read your review yesterday afternoon... on the steps of the hospital where my wife had just that morning given birth to my second kid! So a great day, all in :-)
    Thanks again!

  2. Martin, the second kid does all the things that the first one did so there is no need to pay it any attention at all. Get on and finish The Absence instead!


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