Saturday, January 16, 2010


One of the best-looking series of last year had a somewhat predictable ending, but the route it took to get there was terrific. No wonder Image opted for the hardcover, oversized, glossy release treatment for the collected edition of Steven T. Seagle and Marco Cinello’s Soul Kiss, turning it into something fairly close to a small pop-art poster book. The story follows a woman who makes a bargain with the devil to save herself from a would-be rapist, and winds up with the unwanted power to send people to hell with a kiss, and the unwanted responsibility to choose 10 souls to make the trip. Cinello uses Seagle’s vividly emotional framework as an excuse for equally vivid pages, some keyed to a single bright color or tone, some designed so Seagle’s brassy, prickly heroine practically pops off the page. The art is executed in various degrees of stylization, with big, dramatic splash pages alternating with Eisner-esque panel experiments and conventional boxes; sometimes it’s all loose, jazzy, and free-form, while at other times it’s finely detailed and formalist. Either way, it’s generally beautiful… A-,37128/

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