mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Drunk on spiders. (73)

The Lost Machine by Richard A. Kirk.

He fell from the sky,
Starling, that is. I say.
I know about Falls.

I've read Richard A. Kirk's blog for a little while now, impressed by the complexity, detail & subtly alien nature of his artwork; when he said he had an illustrated novel for sale, I was only too happy to support him. Especially since it involved loot for me! Mike Mignola wrote the introduction, & it is pretty spot on-- I won't belabor it. Instead, I'll tell you that the post-apocalyptic world Mister Kirk paints is vibrant & rich with the little touches that make it seem real, inevitable. The sting of smoke from the burning spindles of rubber coated copper wire is one thing, but the sparks, the crackle of the burn-- that is real. Richard's attention to the small scale, & the use of the local to hint at the general, reminds me of what I'm trying to do with my Oubliette campaign, which makes sense, since I stumbled upon him looking for inspiration, ideas, illustrations. One detail is especially of note, if I'm mentioning role-playing games: short of when Jack Vance invented IOUN stones, Richard A. Kirk is the only author who manages to pay just the right amount of attention to the spinning coloured stones. Not too much, not too little. I don't know if IOUN stones were an inspiration for Irridis' discs, but that is what they evoked in my little mind. You won't be shocked by the revelations in the book, but that doesn't make them any less potent-- the revelations aren't for you, the reader, but rather for Moss, the character. The pictures are typical of Richard A. Kirk's work, filigree & enough unexplained flourishes to leave you wanting more, looking for answers to riddles in the ink. There are vignettes, diversions, explorations-- all present, as the book moves steadily along the arc of its trajectory. I quite liked it, & maybe it was the Mignola introduction (of course it was) but it reminded me in tone & pacing of a less salty Baltimore; but of course that is silly. It is more like The Child Thief, or Strange Birds...but then, I only think that because it is a novel with pictures in it. No, there isn't an easy comparison to make, & I recommend it on that merit.
Tags: books, haiku, kirk

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