Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Judge Anderson: Triad (2003)

Author: Alan Grant | Illustrators: Arthur Ranson / David Roach / Mick Austin / Mark Farmer | Page Count: 112

Childhood… the only real innocence any of us ever know…

There are five stories in this one; one long and four short.  The long one is the best of them, and is the one the book’s named after.  It teams author Alan Grant with artist Arthur Ranson, which, for me, is a match made in comic heaven.
Grant’s writing is better when he has room to develop a deeper narrative.  He writes the PSI Judge strong but sensitive, heavy handed when necessary, while remaining responsive to a victim’s emotions.
Ranson’s work is black and white, and I mean black and white – no greys.  His ability to add emotion and fear to a face with the minimum of lines is part of why I love his style.  His version of Anderson is my favourite.

It adds to the arc that was slowly developing in all of the longer works.  It took years to fully flourish, and being aware of it now while rereading gives the whole series extra depth.  I'm guessing Grant knew early on where he would eventually take her but I'm not sure he knew quite how tough he'd make that journey.

The events of Hour of the Wolf (2003) are a prelude to Triad so read it first if you can.  However, like Wolf, the story has an unresolved aspect; it’s another small snippet of a larger whole.

The remaining four stories vary in quality.  Sometimes it feels like Grant puts very little thought into his short work.  They helped keep Anderson in the consciousness of the weekly 2000AD readers but they're mostly throwaway.

3½ bad dreams out of 5

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