Foreword by Bryan Talbot

 

Cancertown by Cy Dethan. Logo by Paul Cartwright

 

Legitimate comics legend and creator of the first British graphic novel, Bryan Talbot himself, has written the book's foreword! The eye-opening experience of reading Luther Arkwright as a kid was one of the key reasons I wanted to start writing comics in the first place, so to have an introduction from its creator is simply unbelievable. In fact, I'm so excited about this development that I'm afraid I have no choice but to reproduce it in full below:

"For a first graphic novel from a new creative team, Cancertown is remarkable. Cy Dethan’s concept alone is brilliant. Is the protagonist, Vincent Morley, a cynical knight in tarnished armour battling unspeakable monsters in a gonzoid Chapel Perilous or a dying sad bastard besieged by visions generated by his terminal brain tumour? Vince’s chosen role, that of maintaining the equilibrium between the “real” London and its parasitic, demonic mirror image and his ability to pass between the two, by grace of his illness, sharply differentiates his story from others in the wide-boy urban sorcerer genre, notably represented by Alan Moore’s John Constantine and Mike Carey’s Felix Castor prose novels. And, though your worst nightmares are his everyday reality, Morley kicks serious arse while maintaining a self-deprecating cascade of gallows humour.

Moreover (do people still say that?) Cancertown actively embraces horror, the genre of horror fiction. It’s not trigger-shy. It doesn’t fuck around. It sets out to horrify, and it succeeds. Although Cancertown owes more to Clive Barker than Ramsey Campbell, it still, like Campbell, has its roots in H.P. Lovecraft and its evocation of genuine creepiness is undeniable. This is in no small part due to the visceral, hallucinogenic art of Stephen Downey working in tandem with the hard-bitten script, the atmospheric colours of Melanie Cook and inventive lettering of Nic Wilkinson. We’re seeing here the first outing of creators who will make their mark on the future comic industry.

Cancertown will disorientate you, suck you in, chew you up and spit you out and you might well be in need of a change of underwear by the end.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you."

Bryan Talbot
Sunderland March 2009