A new domicile enters the Dreaming in House of Whispers, in a story by Nalo Hopkinson and Dominike Stanton. Cain and Abel make brief cameos, but the bulk of this tale is set in a black milieu, both in reality, and in the voodoo lands the House of Whispers inhabits.
First off, I think that is great. Hadn’t occurred to me what a white thing the Dreaming was until I started reading this issue. The House of Whispers belongs to Mistress Erzulie Freda Dahomey, a significant figure in voodoo, and a good counterpart for Cain and Abel. Both black and female, she single-handedly brings diversity in a variety of ways: race, gender and religion.
The scenes in the House of Whispers are a lot more sociable than what we generally see in the Houses of Mystery and Secrets, although the building does not actually get pulled into the Dreaming until the end of the issue, so that might change. Still, it makes for a far more appealing residence.
We also get to meet some human girls, Latoya, her girlfriend, and her younger sisters, who live in New Orleans. What role they will play as the book moves forward is not yet clear, though Latoya seems to be the one who will link up with the House. Again, with Latoya being openly lesbian, you can tell the commitment to diversity this book is aiming for.
That is a critical thing, as society lunges to the alt-right, and Comicsgate goes after those who try to provide entertainment that defies their racist rules. If for no other reason, House of Whispers would be worth picking up simply to support diversity in comics.
But fortunately, there are other reasons to buy this book anyway. I really like the art, which works just as well in the realistic scenes as in the magical ones. It’s too early to really be able to judge how well this book will go, but the characters have grabbed my interest, and the jarring way the House enters the Dreaming has certainly piqued my interest.
It’s a great feeling when one is able to recommend a work for its ideology, as well as its entertainment value. House of Whispers is definitely worth a visit.