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Neil Gaiman's Hold Me (Hellblazer #27)

By Munawar Mobin

When coveted author Neil Gaiman and profoundly-talented Dave McKean collaborate, it's always a very good book. Not “almost always” or “sometimes” but most definitely ALWAYS. That combo has never in my (comic-filled albeit short) life ever managed to disappoint.

This week, comes a review of one of the issues of the Hellblazer series with its central character, John Constantine, the street magician. John Constantine is a quick-thinking man. He is smart, witty and mostly one of the pure breeds of the classic noir-books. Dark alleys, cigarettes and constant dark humour, this series has gone on the longest in Vertigo history and is still ongoing.

Hellblazer #27, titled “Hold Me” tells a certain story almost everyone's heard before, but repacked by Gaiman and McKean. It's a story of the ghost whose spirit is stuck on Earth due to a tragedy in the previous life. All the ghost wants is to be loved and to be held. It can be said to be a “romantic ghost story”. Yes, it does sound drab and potentially clichéd, but it's not. What Gaiman does is he takes the regular story of any romantic ghost (funny term, isn't it?), puts in into a John Constantine gritty background and makes the two mix into one incredible story within just a few pages.

Dave McKean once again manages to awe, which becomes pretty obvious right from the first page. His talents with the brush are unparalleled by a long shot, and this little issue is just him working his everyday magic.

The storyline to “Hold Me” is too short to be summarised and put into this review without spoiling it thus we can't give you the story; however we will tell you that if you're a Gaiman fan, you should check it out. It's Hellblazer's issue 27 or it can also be found in Neil Gaiman's collection of short stories called “Midnight Days”


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