Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baltimore, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Baltimore, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (2007, Bantam Books)

Acclaimed writer and artist Mike Mignola (Hellboy) teams up with prolific horror and supernatural fiction author Christopher Golden for this wonderfully original vampire tale.

Set at the end of World War I, Baltimore is the story of three strangers, united only by their mutual acquaintance with Lord Henry Baltimore: a surgeon, a sailor, and an aristocrat. The men are summoned to an inn, and they spin their personal tales of terror to one another as they await the arrival of Baltimore himself.

Inspired heavily by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Baltimore is a well-crafted allegory of the long-term futility of war and the dehumanization that can come those who are in the trenches. The various stories that make up the books are excellently layered inside of other stories, and are tinged with an ample amount of Lovecraftian eeriness. Mignola also contributes numerous monochromatic illustrations to the story, enhancing the feel of the story.

Baltimore is a must-read for any fans of great horror tales, and a great way to wind up to the impending Halloween season.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

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