Comic Corner: Neil Gaiman’s spooky modern fable

Art by Michael Zulli via Amazon
Art by Michael Zulli via Amazon

‘The Last Temptation’ review

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor


This October, I’m starting things off with a bang, choosing the spooky, musically centred The Last Temptation by Neil Gaiman. Combining shock rock and brilliant artwork into this morality tale proves to be the perfect evolution of a modern day fable.

Steven is a boy who is afraid of everything, but most of all, he’s scared of becoming a “grown-up.” Dared to attend a show at the mysterious Theatre of the Real, Steven meets the Showman, a charismatic performer who offers Steven a trade: eternal youth and fun as a member of the Theatre in exchange for Steven’s potential—everything he ever was or could amount to be.

Though not the finest of Neil Gaiman’s works to date, The Last Temptation is still a standout in the horror genre. It was originally developed with and inspired by Alice Cooper, hence the shared likeness between the real-life shock rocker and the Showman. This graphic novel isn’t horror in the sense of it being frightening or filled with gore, though there are some pretty grotesque moments. Instead, the scary elements are focused around a feeling of entrapment: should he refuse, how will Steven escape? Therefore it’s more of a psychological scare, as well as being visceral on occasion.

Artistically, this novel sees Gaiman reuniting with his Sandman partner, Michael Zulli. The art is highly detailed with heavy inks and strong use of black. There are two versions of this collected edition, one in black and white, and the other in full colour. I would advise sticking to the black and white, because it accentuates Zulli’s brilliant use of toning.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a perfect pick up for anyone looking for a short horror read. But don’t use it as an introduction to the genre.