In June, to promote their inclusion as award nominees by the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance, the creators of Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter made a preview of their work available. We read it, were immediately hooked, and ordered the book. One reviewer on Amazon has compared the artwork to Mike Mignola’s style on Hellboy, and we will agree that if you like Hellboy then you will love Witch Hunter.
The story begins with the humiliation of poet Robbie Burns, a historical figure Witch Hunter brings to life in fiction. Soon, Burns stumbles across a pagan ritual in an abandoned church, a ritual matched in its sensuality only by its pure evil. There, Burns is rescued by a pair of experienced dispatchers of hellish hordes. And so begins his adventure. (Burns composed a horror poem you may know: Tam O’Shanter, first published in 1791. It serves as the inspiration for this tale.)
Did we mention how much we love the artwork in this book? Let us say it again, to give artist Tiernen Trevallion his due. After all, writers Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby did win the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance ‘Best Writer’ awards at the Glasgow Comic Convention, Beeby won ‘Best New Writer’, and the book itself won ‘Best Graphic Novel’. But it’s Trevallion’s artwork, along with Jim Campbell’s lettering, that brings the rollicking script to life for us on the page.
You may recognize co-author Gordon Rennie from his work on Rogue Trooper, a classic 2000AD series we have featured on this site. So, if you are a fan of that unique Scottish comic-book sensibility which brought readers in the States such popular writers as Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, or if you are a fan of 2000AD comics in general, that’s just one more reason to read Witch Hunter.
We don’t mind telling you our favorite character is Meg: tough as nails, quick with profanity, great with a crossbow, and seemingly unafraid to ride into the very mouth of hell itself to do battle with the demonic forces of the underworld. Meg stands in sharp contrast to the vacuous ladies Burns pleasures himself with in the opening pages. She’s every bit an action hero with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue, and her inclusion in this tale endears us to it all the more. And to think that Meg was merely the noble horse in the original Tam O’Shanter!
Fast-paced adventure with an outstanding cast of leading characters fighting the hordes of hell make Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter an enjoyable and unforgettable read. We look forward to more work by these creators and from Renegade Arts Entertainment.