With all the debate about guns in the US right now, there is a quote from this installment that really resonated with me.
You entered this house, Mr. Peck, on your own volition. You stay here because you want to. Because you need to. Each “blam” of a hammer reminds these workers of the blood they have spilt, be it innocent or guilty. Listening to the sound of a gun twenty-four hours a day is their penance—for embracing all that a gun has to offer.
There is poetic justice here, and I cannot help but think of the levels of Dante’s Inferno. We each must answer for our actions, and the punishment we face is often that of our own creation.
There is a lot going on in the world right now. Change is everywhere, and so is tension. I feel like we are on the threshold of something huge. I hear the constant drumming of the hammers as our new reality is being forged.
Wow, this is really a dark and disturbing tale. The imagery feels like it was conjured out of a nightmare. Tendrils of pain, regret, and suffering writher from floorboards and cracks, entwining individuals and drawing them into the darker realms of despair and insanity. Visually, this is some of the most psychologically disturbing material I have ever seen. But you just can’t look away.
There is one great section in this issue where Sara is melting down guns and pouring the molten metal into molds to create hammers. The accompanying text is reminiscent of something you would read in Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil.
From darkness comes light. Tools of death birth tools of life. From destruction… comes construction.
I am really enjoying this so far. If any of you are also reading this graphic novel, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
On my most recent trip to the local comic store, I asked the owner of there was anything new that I might be interested in. He knows my tastes and considered for a minute, then suggested “House of Penance.” He had a copy of the first issue stashed behind the counter and the second issue was on the rack. The cover art looked intriguing and I was drawn to the concept of penance, having to make amends for things done in life. I decided to purchase the first two issues and give them a try.
After reading the first installment, my interest is definitely piqued. The premise is that there is a widow, Sara Winchester, whose husband and daughter recently died. Her deceased husband was part of the Winchester family that makes firearms. She lives in a large estate and accepts boarders who appear to have to atone for things they did. Boarders must relinquish all firearms and agree to work. The workers build doorways and staircases that lead nowhere.
This first issue basically begins developing the characters and the foundation of the story. The artwork is detailed and disturbing, and the writing is very good. The dialogue is very realistic and each character has a unique voice.
I don’t have much else to say at this point. I will be reading the second installment soon. Look for my thoughts on that issue later this week.