The Nightmare Factory
by Joe Harris & Stuart Moore
(based on stories by Tomas Ligotti)
Edited by R. Eric Lieb
Cover Artist: Ashley Wood
Review by Gayle Surrette
Harper Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061243530
Date: 01 September 2007 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
All the tales are based on the original stories of Thomas Ligotti who also does the introduction for each one. The volume is aptly named The Nightmare Factory since each tales is a creepy blend of words, art, tone, and unconscious poking that gives you that chill down the spine and goosebumps over the skin. You may not have nightmares but you probably will have some strange hybrid dreams of lost dreams, lost opportunities, and lost souls.
In "The Last Feast of Harlequin" written by Stuart Moore, based on a Thomas Ligotti story, with art by Colleen Doran, an anthropology professor with clown training decides to attend the Harlequin Festival in Microcaw. While there he thinks he sees his old mentor but is unable to speak to him. The tale proceeds to blend into a Lovecraftian story of ancient and unspeakable strangeness: murder, madness, secret societies, and more.
"Dream of a Minnikin" (written by Stuart Moore; art by Ben Templesmith) finds a psychologist dealing with a client having difficulty dealing with her life as a manikin dresser. Pulled into the clients delusions the psychiatrist is not sure who is the sane person or if the client was real. In some ways the tamest story of the lot but still high on the creepiness factor.
A town finds that not all delusions are delusions when they pull together to destroy the insane asylum that mars the town's skyline in "Dr. Locrian's Asylum". (written by Joe Harris, art by Ted McKeever). In "Teatro Grottesco" (written by Joe Harris, art by Michael Gaydos) artists find they are drained for their art when meeting with Teatro. One artist evolves a plan to avoid losing his ability to create. However, his plan goes awry in a most insidious manner.
The artwork throughout the book is phenomenal. Some graphic novels I love for the story and some I love for the artwork. This particular graphic work is a delicious combination of the two elements to make a truly nightmarish collection.