Author: Mike Carey | Illustrator: John Bolton | Page Count: 96
"...the immortality resides in the role, not in the being that enacts it."
Events in The Furies take place a few years after the end of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman saga (1989-96). It continues the story of one of the secondary characters, Lyta Hall, so if you've not read all 75 issues (collected as ten volumes) then you’ll be missing a huge chunk of backstory. In truth, it would be best to not read The Furies if you lack that Sandman knowledge, because it’s largely reliant on it.
Carey’s words build an atmosphere that’s thick and oppressive. Bolton’s painted art compliments it. He’s a superb artist, so it’s hard to say for sure but there may be some actual photography blended into the backgrounds. Either way, it manages to be more emotionally affecting than the text; it’s as if there’s actual pain and a unique kind of anguish captured in the brush strokes.
The text is structured similar to a Greek myth but within that there’s a recurring theme of attempting to understand what’s required to play a role. We’re asked to wonder if the proper surroundings would make it any more real. Imagine being witness to a Shakespeare play performed in the actual Globe Theatre. There’s no doubt that the historical setting would add an extra element to your appreciation and a special kind of resonance to the happenings.
Carey’s best works manage to provide both a satisfying ending to the story and somehow leave a reader with deep thoughts rolling round in their head, thoughts that inspire further, relevant readings; he achieves that with The Furies.
3½ pomegranate seeds out of 5