Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Troll King

The Troll King
Kolbeinn Karlsson

This sadly, is the last of my five books I received in the Forbidden Planet blind bag and as luck would have it I’ve saved the best till last.

The Troll King is weird as hell and all the better for it. It tells a selection of seemingly unrelated tales that eventually come together towards the end in a delightfully bizarre, cinematically epic ending.
During the book you’ll experience the marriage of two gay woodsmen and the simultaneous anal birth of their children, a man raped by the king of the forest and two green skinned men planting a skull which grows into a head which tells a story about the wild west.
How can you not instantly love a book that can boast those events?
As you read this book you’ll cycle through spells of confusion, glee disgust sadness and possibly a hundred other emotions besides.
It’s a story that really needs to be experienced.

Bizarre storyline aside the book is rather beautifully drawn, Karlsson has a unique style which appears at first glance to be almost childlike but it hides a sophisticated artistic talent.
He also makes great use of colours, certain chapters are brilliantly vibrant with blocky colours making little use of shading while others are surprisingly dark, several pages appear almost black at a quick glance and you are forced to study the image to make out details much as you would in the dark in real life.
I was surprised by these pages, darkness is something that many people attempt to break away from in comics perhaps thinking their audience is unwilling to scrutinise a page the amount that is needed here. I’m very glad that Karlsson is dared to do this however as it adds another level of originality to the book.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I put finished this, to think that I got it for a pound from the blind bag, it was an absolute steal. Of the five books this is the only one that I’d have happily paid full price for.
This is a brilliant piece of work, packed with a good enough blend of humour and seriousness to make it re-readable. If you get the chance, definitely pick it up, over eighteens only though.

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