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 Savoy Comics
Lord Horror #7

Hard Core Horror 5—
King Horror: Zero


Script—David Britton

Art—John Coulthart

Cover—Coulthart

1990

A Savoy Parallax Production

60pp

ISBN 0 86130 084 X

Hard Core Horror 5

 
'Art, like the God of the Jews, thrives on holocausts...And after each letting of the blood the flesh will weigh less.'

Gustave Flaubert, The Temptation Of St. Anthony

The end of the line: more full page drawings present the malevolent architecture of the Death Camps in finely-detailed character. A landmark portrait of human evil, intended as a contemporary equivalent of Piranesi's 'Prisons'. Coulthart spent a year producing these 26 drawings only to be told by a magistrate that they had no artistic value. Fit subject for a comic book? Savoy thinks readers should be given the chance to make up their own minds. Also contains a supplement of truly harrowing photographs.

Also includes text story by David Britton: Jewlung


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One of the intentions of the Hard Core Horror series was to show the British comics world how a really adult comic could look, at a time when numerous wretches were hyping their environmentally aware, politically correct trash-for-teenagers as the new 'adult comics' (Crisis, Revolver, Blast, et al). This comic, more than any other, is the response.

A cold and sombre continuation of the death camp scenes from the previous issue, this sees John Coulthart's first substantial work for Savoy bring the series to a fitting, unavoidably nightmarish, and very moral, conclusion. The placing of an empty white panel on each picture is deliberate, not a printer's error as some have assumed. Each page becomes a testament to a place that words have lost their power to adequately describe.

"What I was trying to portray with the Holocaust illustrations was a kind of lateral view of real events, it's what I call a metaphysical portrait of the death camps, not a realistic one. In a sense we had to try to invent our own vocabulary. There's no story. It's just a succession of images...just still shots of buildings, pipes, brickwork, skulls, things like that. And so you're left with the pictures, which are worth a thousand words as far as I'm concerned."

John Coulthart, interviewed in
Clive Barker's A—Z Of Horror (Harper Prism/BBC Books, 1997)


 

Reviews

"A genuinely stomach-wrenching overkill of atrocity ramming the sheer inadequacy of words into the face of racial holocaust and the real horrors of fascist evil... Indie comics publishing has seldom come on so strong or stood so naked."

ANDREW DARLINGTON

 

"Almost unbearably tense... One of the most chilling recollections of the reality of the Holocaust and one of its most effective indictments."

PAUL WOODS, The Dark Side

 

"The key point in the series occurs in issue 5, illustrated by John Coulthart, where bleak, rigid depictions of deathcamp architecture are both terrifying and beautiful, the lines and planes of the art deco designs shouting repression and annihilation... After several pages of beautiful Maldororian prose from David Britton the reader is confronted by shocking photographs of dead bodies, murdered children, and we realise that this is where all the rhetoric and philosophy has led us."

D M MITCHELL, Rapid Eye 2 (1995 edition)

 

"The scope of Britton's achievement bears justifiable comparison with Hans Jürgen Syberberg's magnum film opus, Hitler: A Film from Germany. There, too, there is an exacting cultural reclamation of theme and material previously considered intractable to creative expression."

COLIN DE SUINN, Speakeasy

 

"A base, sordid, corrupting evil that perverts our nation... It is a so-called 'comic' book of filth and degradation in the name of art."

SUNDAY SPORT

 

"A considerable achievement in graphic art."

BYRON ROGERS, The Sunday Telegraph

 

"The Lord Horror comics certainly go beyond the bounds of public decency. They should be banned."

TEDDY TAYLOR, Tory MP

 

"A rapacious alternate history of Lord Haw-Haw filled with violence and vitriol."

DOUGLAS E WINTER

 

"The artwork is dizzyingly forceful, standing head and shoulders above almost all other comics."

RUSS KICK, Psychotropedia

 

"Executed (by Kris Guidio) in a Beardsleyesque 'yellow' manner—showers of blood and offal mingling deliriously with art nouveau backgrounds; eroticism and elegance merging seamlessly with ultraviolence and sadism."

D M MITCHELL, Rapid Eye 2 (1995 edition)

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