Monday 4 July 2022

Rivers of London: Body Work Delux Writers Edition

 'CSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic SPECIAL EDITION graphic novel from Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the bestselling Rivers of London supernatural police procedural crime novel series! This Deluxe Writers' Edition presents the full script of the graphic novel along with the unlettered, full-color artwork, allowing the reader to read the original script and see the artwork side-by-side.

Grant is part of a very special London police unit. Full-time cop and part time wizard he works on rather unusual crimes - those that involve magic and the general weirdness that permeates London's dark underbelly.

His latest case begins with a perfectly innocent car on a homicidal killing spree - without a driver. But, before you know it, there's a Bosnian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a bunch of teenagers loaded on Ketamine and seemingly-harmless wooden bench with the darkest of pasts...'


 So, last week I covered the origins of Spiderman from 1962. This week we come right up to date with Body Work pt1 the first graphic novel in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London universe. And oh, my friends, it is so much more than that. This is the Delux Writers Edition and it is a thing of outstanding beauty.

 I've loved the RoL novels since day 1 but I've always been a sucker for 'magic London'. The series stars Peter Grant who is basically a wizard policeman and crimes with a supernatural leaning.

 With the graphic novels Lee Sullivan (pencils and inks) and Luis Guerrero (colours) bring the characters to life in Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel's story and I think I enjoyed the visual aspect of this even more than the novels (and I love the novels!).

 The story here is of a possessed car on a killing spree (reminded me of the King classic Christine) but there's so much more than just a killer car going on.

  The big thing about this edition though is the way it is presented. This is almost a masterclass on how a graphic novel is created and put together (I guess if Body Work were a dvd this would be one of the extras).

On each double spread we get the unlettered artwork on one side while the other has the dialogue, captions etc and such things as photo references that were taken to give the art accuracy. The book is printed on glorious feeling paper which gives it even more of a 'special book essence'.

And then, when you reach the end - another treat. Several 1 page shorts, Tales From The Folly, a collection of short stories featuring the side cast (Beverly Brook, Toby the Dog etc). It's amazing how much story you can get from 6 or so panels.

This book is a real gem and deserves pride of place on any book shelf but mostly it deserves to be in your hands as you treat your eyes to what I can only call a true work of art. 


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