The Highest House: Issue #1, by Mike Carey

I recently asked the owner of my local comic book store if I should buy the new Books of Magic reboot. He hesitated, but then (very diplomatically, I thought) said that while he was pleased the Vertigo reboots were driving traffic into the store, he thought he could recommend some more interesting fantasy titles. I trust his taste, so I went home with the first issue of Mike Carey's latest title, The Highest House.

The Highest House
was originally published in France, and has been broken down into shorter installments for American audiences. It's the story of Moth, a young boy who is sold into slavery and shipped off to work at the Highest House, an enormous castle with a mysterious past. Moth is apprenticed to a roofer, but the mundane nature of his new job can't hide the hints that magic still exists at the Highest House—and Moth seems to have an affinity for it.

This first issue is all set-up and no payoff, but it's an intriguing introduction. Peter Gross's artwork is always solid, with elaborate landscapes and easily recognizable characters, and Fabien Alquier's colors are muted yet rich. (The decision to include a full page of information on roof tile maintenance came out of nowhere, but I'm assuming it will tie into things later.) Carey is an imaginative storyteller, although his beginnings are frequently more interesting than his endings. It's still too early to fully commit to this title, but I think it's a promising sign that the publishers decided to shell out for extra-large pages, creating an elegant, colorful comic that is as much fun to look at as it is to read.
Posted by: Julianka


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