AS IT TURNS OUT, the most unconventional battle of World War II was fought not in Europe or the Pacific, but on the frozen landscape of the Himalayas. It was a three-party conflict that involved British Commandos, German Paratroopers, and some towering creatures of myth known commonly as…wait for it…Abominable Snowmen!
There were Americans involved in the battle as well, along with one Japanese double agent. But they were early casualties of an enemy thought not to exist—an enemy less interested in geopolitical power struggles than an easy meal.
And that’s about as much of a set-up as I’m willing to give you for Abominable Glory, a truly gripping and ripping graphic horror-adventure novel from writer Martin Hayes (Project Luna 1947) and artist Chris Askham. It’s a quick read at 81 pages, and a page-turner at that, but it manages to pack enough character and visual contemplation into its unfolding horrors that it still haunts long after reading.
Credit both Hayes and Askham for that. Characters and dialogue here are alive, and distinctly of their period—as hard-bitten and yet human as the characters in any classic WWII film; and Ascham’s illustration, as evocatively stark as its Himalayan setting, is rendered in a black-and-white, kind of brushy manga style that’s perfectly suited to the material. Moreover, the artist proves, yet again, that one does not need red ink to convey bloody carnage.
And the Snowmen? Yikes! They’re as hungry and horrifying as you’d hope them to be, and imbued with a sort of weird psychic power that’s only briefly touched upon here, but which I found so interesting that I would love to see a sequel.
Lettering by Bram Meehan and cover art by Matt Soffe are first-rate, and the book includes an interesting essay by Hayes chronicling his lifelong obsession with all things paranormal.
All in all, a great experience for fans of war stories, monsters, and darn good graphic novels.
Publisher: Markosia (England)
Available in Print and Digital
First Printing: March, 2015
Black and White
Age Rating: 15+ Only
Writer: Martin Hayes
Art: Chris Askham
Lettering: Bram Meehan
Cover Art: Matt Soffee