House of Gold & Bones #4 Review

Stone Sour lead singer Corey Taylor wraps up his debut comic series House of Gold & Bones this week with issue four.This is our last chance to get answers in a series that has so far provided nothing but questions. Here’s the official description from Dark Horse:

Inside the House of Gold and Bones, the Conflagration has begun. Here, the Human must make a choice that could alter the course of his life: Remain the man he is or change?

House has had its problems from the very beginning, and unfortunately there’s no final twist or revelation here that vindicates the previous three issues. It was pretty obvious from the get go that the whole story was a dream (or at least some kind of conflict playing out in the Human’s head.) In that sense the series has been very realistic, because, like a real dream, it relies very little on plot. It’s been more a phantasmagorical stream of images than an actual story. This is understandable, given Taylor’s main role as a musician. While songs can certainly tell stories, they more often focus on imagery and mood, two things that have been very important in this series.

Richard Clark‘s work is at an all time high for this series. While some of his figures and faces were weak in early issues, here they’re generally excellent, both incredibly realistic and conveying tons of emotion. Simultaneously, everything that isn’t human is stretched and swirled and exaggerated to maximize the story’s nightmarish quality, with dark cathedrals towering over the human, seemingly miles high, and demonic beings twisting bonelessly through the air.

House of Gold & Bones definitely has a plot. Unfortunately, it’s too long in coming and unfulfilling when it manifests itself. That said, while a disconnected series of images doesn’t hold much appeal for me, I can understand how fans of Taylor’s music might like it, and Clark’s art definitely reinforces the dreamlike and musical nature of the book.


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