A Klaxon is a horn or loud warning device to indicate impending danger. In the new graphic novel from SelfMadeHero, Klaxon, the warning appears to be for a a definite mind trip of a horror comic. Written by Si Spencer and illustrated by the artist Dix, the book is filled with shifting faces, dark shadows and terrifying smiling. In Klaxon, three unemployed friends begin to have problems with their brand new neighbors. The neighbors are a young woman, Carole, and her disabled and constantly weeping mother. Strange noises and odd vibrations seem to be coming from their apartment on a regular basis. One of the unemployed men, Carlisle, takes the situation into his own hands in order to protect Carole (whom he fancies) and finds himself face to face with his landlord. His landlord, Mr. Stapleton, happens to be the frightening smiling embodiment of all that is evil and wrong. Stapleton has a young mute son, Craig. Craig often appears as an angel holding a television. Carlisle realizes that Mr. Stapleton is slowly but surely affecting all those who dwell in the complex, and sets out to fight the enemy and save Carole and his friends.
Dix’s art is unsettling to say the least. Dark eyes peer out from gray faces. A large woman lays on the floor with her underwear exposed. Faces seem to melt and shift in different sequences. One of the images that stuck vividly in my mind is that of Craig dressed as a child’s version of a cowboy, holding rubber bow and arrow. This is after so many panels of him wearing ancient clothing that looks like something from English Historical Films and holding a glowing green television not plugged into anything. Spencer’s story is subtle, causing the reader to have to go back after reading through the first time to truly grasp what is happening. Much of the story is told in images, rather than with words.
Klaxon is dark, but fascinating and definitely worth a look. This is definitely not a book for younger children and left me a but unsettled when I put the book down.
Klaxon is now available from SelfMadeHero Publishing.