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 Savoy Comics
Lord Horror #11

Reverbstorm 4—
The Auschwitz of Oz


Script—David Britton

Art—John Coulthart

Cover—Coulthart

1995

A Savoy Henry Green Production

48pp

ISBN 0 86130 095 5

Reverbstorm 4

 
'The dark places are at the centre, pass them by and there
can be no serious discussion of human potential.'

George Steiner, In Bluebeard's Castle

The rise of the Ononoes. After lying dormant for 46 years following their original appearance in Burne Hogarth's Tarzan strip, the Ononoes return with a vengeance. Full page drawings recount more violent mayhem in Torenbürgen's nightmare city blocks. Horror rides the Scorpion Horse while his brother rides the Tug Boat-born Phallus Beetle. Over all hovers the malignant Soul of the Virgin Mary. A phantasmagoric meisterwerk.


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  After David Britton resurrected them for their memorable appearance in the Lord Horror novel, it was only a matter of time before the Ononoes returned to plague the comic world once again. Of all the brilliant sequences in Hogarth's run of Tarzan strips, the Ononoes is the most striking and bizarre. Created at a time of great pressure through overwork, these creatures have all the characteristics and Otherness of genuine Id monsters, unwittingly unleashed from a very sane and rational artistic mind. Hogarth himself seemed unsure as to what he had created, the evident violence and madness running contrary to his sound and coherent aesthetic principles; even the portrayal of Tarzan in this story seems gripped with mania—he leaves his knife in the head of one of the creatures when he has to fight his way out of their city.

Although Hogarth seemed pleased that his creations had provided an inspiration for this issue, he was singularly unimpressed with the degrees of violence, cannibalism and erotic delirium which Britton and Coulthart spared no pains to detail. Mr Hogarth possessed a very personal and distinctive artistic philosophy (and was easily the most intelligent comic creator of his generation): his principles were founded on the beneficent and enlightening potential of art, it was inevitable his views would be at variance with Savoy's on these issues. No hard feelings Burne.

The Reverbstorm Appendix—A detailed guide to references within the series


 

Reviews

"Takes Savoy's bleak Decadence to new heights. Lacking anything so bourgeois as a plot, John Coulthart's stunning artwork makes the ultimate connection between Auschwitz and Cthulhu."

MIKE DONN, Dreamberry Wine

 

"Mr Britton asks us to stare into the sun with him. Some of us do and, after winding our way through the tortuous labyrinth of western philosophy, rhetoric, political, artistic and scientific theory expounded in the text, we finally confront the minotaur at the centre, crouched atop a pile of human skulls and recognise ourselves with a sudden jarring shock."

D M MITCHELL, Rapid Eye 2 (1995 edition)

 

"Savoy flay and mock the cherished values of the Disestablishment...If it be admitted that this is a genuinely vicious body of work, it is at least one which attempts real violations or real contemporary norms, and not just the usual tepid pantomimes of rebellion...Coulthart's dark, clogged artwork is superb...The sheer darkness of Savoy's anti-heroes is true to humanity and to history in a way which other recent work fails to be."

ANDY ROBERTSON, Interzone

 

"A rollercoaster ride to the end of our collective night, a delirious, erotic and unbridled display of literary savagery and artistic terrorism."

D M MITCHELL, Rapid Eye 2 (1995 edition)

 

I have not seen in many a long series of months—or years—the kind of continued dedication to the punctilious and meticulous pen and ink work put on board by your artist. It's a striking example of the need to create and the desire to shock the sensibilities of an audience with a phantasmic subject linked to a febrile and phantasmagorical talent.

BURNE HOGARTH

 

"There is no clear-cut political code or ethical interpretation, because Savoy is leading us, as usual, into frighteningly unfamiliar territory...yet (in Reverbstorm) there is a strong misleading and dangerous element now present in the seductive form of rock'n'roll."

D M MITCHELL, Rapid Eye 2 (1995 edition)

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