As the title suggests, ‘Sebastian O/Mystery Play’ by Grant Morrison packs in two dark but very different stories. The steampunk themed Sebastian O feels like a wildly re-imagined tribute to Oscar Wilde. In fact, a lot of the language is very Wilde like, with a lot of sarcastic quote worthy lines. And the protagonist too reminds one of the writer a lot.
The plot is about a wealthy, well-dressed debauched ‘dandy’, out to extract revenge on those who threw him to the nuthouse. There’s some entertaining banter and a lot of violence. Sebastian O is the kind of character who’d rather risk his life than appear shabbily dressed somewhere. So after a fight in the sewers (literally), he visits a friend first, to change into better clothes. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy reading, pick this graphic novel up.
Although I wasn’t such a fan of the second story titled “Mystery Play”, largely due to the stark change in the art. The panels look like morphed real pictures with a gloomy AF tone. It was just so hard to keep my interest up in the bizarre tale that I just hurried through it all, skipping most pages. The two stories are so different in tone, literally as far as the colors and art styles is concerned, and figuratively in terms of mood and themes, that maybe reading them back to back just makes for a jarring reading experience.
Overall, it’s a 3/5 from me, and maybe I am being a little to generous with the rating. The book is available to read on the kindle unlimited library if you have a subscription.
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