Idioma original: Español

Year of publication: 2022

Valuation: Amusing

Some time ago I read Mummies and embalmingan anthology of horror stories by Spanish writers. It included a rather entertaining story entitled “In the Name of Moss,” whose protagonist was a sort of Andalusian Solomon Kane.

Long Bill, a character created by cartoonist and screenwriter Edgar Max, is also a kind of Solomon Kane. Not in the puritanical sense, of course, since Bill is a conflictive, foul-mouthed and alcoholic antihero; I am referring, rather, to the fact that both Bill and Solomon are the protagonists of supernatural adventures.

The author describes him as follows: “A knife-thrower and adventurer with a mysterious past and a more than dubious reputation. A man who is said to have no heart and who talks to ghosts, who is shunned by cats and cawed by crows. A man who comes from a cursed lineage that attracts bad luck like a magnet attracts iron filings.” He also has “a reputation for being difficult to kill.”

Such a character stars Long Bill and the Cursed Inn, a self-contained story financed through a crowdfunding campaign and edited with great care by Maldragón. The hardcover volume alternates a page of Edgar Max’s text with another illustrated by Alejandro Ortega.

The story told by Long Bill and the Cursed Inn It takes place during a stormy All Souls’ Night. In an inn in an unspecified area of ​​the Cantabrian Coast, smugglers, royal guards, priests, witches, wild wolves and Lovecraftian creatures will meet; needless to say, everything will end in an orgy of destruction, blood, death, revenge and hangover.

As you can imagine, Long Bill and the Cursed Inn It is imbued with a “pulp” aura; after all, it is a pastiche that brings together various genres (action, mystery, horror…) and employs a protagonist whom its author can immerse in all kinds of self-contained adventures.

Edgar Max’s story is also permeated by a rogue register (benefited by a narration with an oral approach), highly suggestive similes (for example, ) and a rather mischievous sense of humor.

Perhaps a more ambitious proposal would have created a more powerful atmosphere, deepened the characters and placed greater emphasis on the tension before the climax. However, I repeat that Long Bill and the Cursed Inn It is a pulp entertainment that easily fulfills its modest intentions, so if approached with the proper expectations, it will delight lovers of this kind of literature.

The story’s appeal is also enhanced by Alejandro Ortega’s full-page illustrations. With a cartoonish style, meticulous finish and firm lines, they serve as a graphic complement. Oh, as a curiosity I would like to mention that, although the text mentions that there are only “three Augustinian brothers” in the inn, on the first page where they are drawn there are four.

In summary: Long Bill and the Cursed Inn It is an entertaining story, ideal for lovers of the “pulp” spirit and characters like Solomon Kane. Without a doubt, its modesty allows us to forgive its weak points (certain passages of confusing writing, the fact that Bill is a character with hardly any prominence, the fact that we are left wanting to know more about the intriguing Cordelia…).


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