By Leroy Douresseaux
February 5, 2007 - 15:43
In the latest Drood misadventure, Judy finds herself stranded when her 1972 Datsun breaks down on a back road. Judy walks to the small town of Obidiah's Glen, but something is sooooo wrong in this sleepy hamlet. The streets are empty, and the phones don't work. All the cars are gone, and so are the townsfolk of Obidiah's Glen. All that remain are a group of sullen teens - and the clowns. The clowns seem to rule what is left of the town from deep within their circus fairgrounds. When she encounters a strange little girl named Nellie Kelly, Judy learns the horror that has come to Obidiah's Glen originates in a secret buried in the old cemetery just outside of town.
While quite a bit of Sala's comics can be described as "gothic humor" (in the vein of Charles Addams), The Grave Robber's Daughter is a horror thriller and macabre mystery, but with just a touch of Sala's trademark ghoulish whimsy. Although this story might seem like a Nancy Drew mystery or an episode of a dark, dark version of "Scooby-Doo," this little graphic novel is not short on the dreadful undead. It's almost a cautionary tale about leaving the beaten path - sort of a warning to those who insist on be "unsuspecting travelers."
The most important thing is that The Grave Robber's Daughter is just flat-out entertaining. A dark fairy tale or an episode in the strange life of a fearless young female detective with the fight of V.I. Warshawski, this is an intriguing mystery tale. It's no lie to say that Sala's latest macabre delight is a page-turner that will have your fingers smoking all the way to the skin-crawling, shock ending.