Eel Mansions is a new series by Derek Van Gieson which is currently at issue number 3 of 6 . Each book follows several story lines with varying degrees of surrealness, featuring a diverse cast of characters such as satanists, secret agents, demons, cartoonists and record store hipsters. A common theme of darkness and conspiracy throughout each plot line leads the reader to believe there’s a deeper connecting thread that may begin to tie the stories together.
Van Gieson’s loose, gestural marks and high-contrast inking work equally well in portraying grotesque demons or the subtle facial expressions of one of the main characters Janet, the sardonic lush cartoonist. Janet’s dialog, along with many of the other characters, is witty and dry. This humor lightens the noir darkness and balances out the suspense and dizziness nicely.
Eel Mansions is published by Tom Kaczynski’s Uncivilized Books and, unsurprisingly, the design is elegant. Each book has a screen-printed, silver ink cover and an earthy, textured paper for the inside. You can subscribe to the entire series at the Uncivilized Books website, or pickup single issues.