Comics / Spotlight / Black Astronaut

Lucifer's Garden of Verses Volume Four: Between The Devil and Miles Davis

By Herve St-Louis
May 21, 2007 - 19:57

The Fourth Volume in the as series exploring the relationship of blacks and the Devil in a modern setting, this story is about Amo Tanzer, a hardened journalist assigned to writing a long essay on a successful black musician. However, our journalist lacks the will to finish the book and enjoys blaming her entourage and the white straightjacket that stop black artists to express themselves. But the Devil is waiting for our reporter, wanting to prove the critic wrong.

This book closes the quartet of books created by Tooks and adds a new dimension on the themes explored in previous volumes. Here, the heroine is not tricked into selling her soul to the Devil, like in the previous stories, nor does she faces strong hardship because of racism. Instead, her own destructive ways are responsible for her falling off grace and neither the helpful devilish inn keeper can seem to keep her from self destruction.

It’s interesting that in previous volumes, although the characters eventually had a choice about going forward to their destruction or not, they were pushed that way by a good manipulator. Here, the Devil or, his standby simply listens to the privilege life of Tanzer who is about to blow everything up, because it seems that she has been conditioned to do so. It is not the most interesting of the four volumes, but it ties up the story well and helps express an opinion in an artistic and way that is often unheard of in comic books.

Although not a master draftsman, Tooks is a great storyteller freed from the confines of the standard comic book page and composition. Using symbols from other volumes and some he creates he adds an ironic twist to his stereotyped angry black characters. It seems like his intent is to expose the lies in and weaknesses in all his characters, without really doing so. So what may seem, an innocent illustration is a protest and testimonial against oppression and apathy.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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