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Department O #1

Department O #1 back

Jamie Gambell & Andrew Maclean


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Another Page 45 UK exclusive! At the time of typing Page 45 is the only shop in the UK to have imported this full-colour, nocturnal romp. It’s isn’t carried by Diamond, no. Fans of HELLBOY, BPRD etc, get in there fast!

“Now, if I was a recently deceased body… where would I be?”

The art with gorgeous colouring by Heather Breckel sold it to me on the spot. “Oooh, Mignola!” I thought. Then, “Ah, Mike Oeming, “I swooned, “via Kirby” I realised, “maybe Cloonan?” I pondered.

There be monsters! Out on the icy, snow-swept Russian-Finnish border there is a great big monster, as the sole survivor of what was evidently an epic battle drags the dying, bloody remains of his cohort from the rubble-strewn fortifications of a now silent, blood-soaked city.

Cut to London, midnight, where Department O’s latest operation has just got totally tits-up, leaving Jack on the run from six gargoyle-like Springheels. Yeah, that doesn’t end well. All the more surprising, then, that Department O is immediately called on by the port-guzzling pipe-puffing toffs at the top for a particularly delicate mission: to provide protection for an asylum-seeking diplomatic envoy of most unusual overseas aristocrats who have personally requested the presence of Department O’s Lord Blutstein. Lord Blutstein is a giant of a man with long white hair and an even fuller beard. So why exactly is he bound in chains deep beneath the Tower of London? Also: Southend On Sea’s beach is about to be breached by some terrifying midnight swimmers, which is one way of dodging passport control.

It’s all so delightfully eccentric, including its storytelling and story structure which had me smiling throughout. Again, think Mignola, particularly in AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD mode. I’ve left plenty for you to discover for yourselves, including Mr. Zeikel’s own extracurricular Department O initiative, quoted above, involving a bloodied corpse and fizzing electricity. I have no idea what is up with Lord Blutstein alone at night in his “quarters”, though.

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