Published by Renegade Arts Entertainment. Written by Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby, with art by Tiernen Trevallion, and lettering and production by Jim Campbell.
review by Eamonn Clarke
After hearing the review on the podcast I was intrigued enough to pick up a digital copy of this through Comixology. The concept is initially a familiar one: take a famous historical figure, add a supernatural creature, and mix well, however there is more going on with this particular mash up. As our own Munkeh pointed out there was a lot of actual witch hunting going on in the 18th century and the paranormal theme fits in well with Burns’ famous poem Tam O’Shanter. Instead of the fictional Tam and his drunken encounter with a witches’ coven Rennie and Beeby have Burns himself stumbling into the midst of the action and needing to be rescued by a pair of experienced witch hunters. It’s a neat fit and very well executed with Burns going on to learn the secrets of witch hunting from the fiery redhead Meg and an elderly curmudgeon called Mackay who sees young Robbie as his possible successor. Mackay is a great character, you’ve got to love a grouchy old Scottish expert of the occult, and it’s not too hard to imagine him as a ancestor of old Harry Absalom himself.
Trevallion’s artwork is as sublime as ever. His character work and story telling are fantastic and he fills in the background details with all manner of bogles, ghoulies, ghosties, long leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night. And of course it’s lovely to see his work in full colour. As far as DVD extras goes there are some character sketches by Trevallion and a short biography of Burns written by Jerry Brannigan. There are also some selected poems including the full version of Tam o’ Shanter.
I enjoyed this and came away knowing a lot more about Robbie Burns then I did before. The ending does make a sequel possible and I would certainly be on board for that. In the meantime if you’re missing your fix of Absalom in the prog then this book will fill the gap very nicely. Four out of five stars and recommended.