The Chillby Jason Starr, Mick Bertilorenzi (Illustrator)
A modern thriller set in New York City, THE CHILL is steeped in Irish mythology. A broken-down cop tracks a seductive killer who possesses the supernatural - and very deadly - power known as "The Chill." It's a power that provides her eternal life by absorbing the sexual energy of her victims. And he may be the next victim!
The Chill is an original work for Starr, as opposed to an adaptation of one of his already published novels. Vertigo Crime's format is perfect, not only for the book but for the author: hard-bound, digest size, with black-and white artwork, signaling a bit of a change of direction for Starr's work. While The Chill contains all of the unpredictable elements that make Starr's previous work such a dark joy to read, it is built upon a supernatural plot line that intersects all too closely with the real world. A killer is loose on the streets of Manhattan, isolating and murdering young men, then leaving them in what appears to be a ritualistic position. The circumstances that precede each murder are practically identical, and puzzling. In each case, the victim is last seen in the company of a woman, but none of the witnesses at each scene, including the companions of the victim, canagree upon what she looks like. Further, surveillance cameras at the individual scenes in each case show the victim to be leaving with an elderly woman. This, by the way, is beautifully illustrated by Mick Bertilorenzi, whose skillful pencils masterfully interpret Starr's story, showing the reader what the words do not. The vignette that leads to the initial murdera group of drunken Jersey boys in the big city for a night on the townwill send chills down your spine and up a few places, as well. The NYPD has no clue at all as to what is going on. Their sole lead is Martin Cleary, a drunken, belligerent ex-Boston cop who insists that the slayings are being carried out by a father/daughter team who are hundreds of years old and who are carrying out an ancient Irish curse. He sounds half mad, and he is; the reader also knows, of course, that he is right. The fact that his presentation is offputting enough in its own right doesn't help his case. Cleary also has a vendetta of his own against the woman in question and her very abusive father. Naturally, there is a showdown, a violent one with a climax that you might expect and an ending that you won't.
The Chill is one hell of a ride, one of those stories that you'll think of at closing time when that woman who has been giving you come-hither glances across the bar for the previous hour suddenly doesn't look so bad after all. What Starr does here is incorporate dark Irish legend into the tapestry of the Manhattan social scene, and convincingly so. I mean, when you pick up a stranger, you really have no idea at all who, or what, you're bringing home, do you? The Chill will make you think twice about entering into that next transitory liaison. And while we're distributing accolades for The Chill, let's not forget to mention Bertilorenzi's work once again. While Starr's narrative could stand on its own, Bertilorenzi's art tells its own story. When, near the beginning of The Chill, Mike and his buds are entering the chaos known as the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, Bertilorenzi's subtle attention to detail will make you smell the automobile exhaust rising off of the page and feel the interminable, claustrophobic wait that precedes your entrance. Highly recommended.
Graphic Novel Reporter
His partner in crime here is artist Mick Bertilorenzi. Although he lives in Italy, you wouldn't know it from the grimy, rain-soaked Big Apple he draws here, in ferocious black and white. His illustrations make the sexy story sexier, the scary parts scarier. "The Chill" is a winner all around, good for more than a few shivers.
- DC Comics
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.26(w) x 5.76(h) x 0.61(d)
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Meet the Author
Jason Starr is the Barry Award and Anthony Award-winning author of nine crime novels which are published in ten languages. The Chill, called "the darkest, sexiest, most twisted noir comic I think I've ever read" by Ed Brubaker, is Starr's first graphic novel. He also writes short stories, screenplays and comics for Marvel and D.C.
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As I am turning 50 this year, sometimes I lie awake at night worrying that Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and Mark Millar are getting old too. And they are all spending more and more time writing standard super hero comics and less and less time writing for Vertigo. So what is to become of sick, disturbing, gripping, supernatural comics that are exciting and mind-blowing?!!! Fear not, Jason Starr is ready, willing and more than capable of carrying on! The Chill has everything a good supernatural thriller needs: Irish mysticism, spooky art, sex, love, and characters who say "fook" and "Jaysus" a lot. Hard boiled NY cop meets hard boiled Irish cop to battle a serial killing team that terrorizes New York and every sex-starved inhabitant. Jason Starr creates a bizarre and alluring plot set to a furious pace, and Mitch Bertilorenzi complements with compelling scenes of lust, sex and death. Like other works by Starr, it is disturbing and funny and most of the characters set new lows for our species. Yet in this story Starr allows us a spark of hope in the survival, morally and physically, of one likable protagonist. So my advice is, dim the lights, pour yourself a Guiness, settle in a comfortable chair in front of the fire and enjoy the ride. Then, of course, hide the book from anyone under 18.
Advance Praise for The Chill: "The Chill is the darkest, sexiest, most twisted noir comic I think I've ever read." - - Ed Brubaker, Eisner Award Winning Author of Criminal and Incognito "THE CHILL is full of more grisly surprises than a backwoods fun house, fusing a noir cop sensibility to a balls-out supernatural thriller. Crime fiction legend Jason Starr makes twin debuts here -- comics and horror -- and shows he's a master of both, right out of the gate. And Mick Bertilorenzi is his perfect partner in crime, with art that refuses to flinch." --Duane Swierczynski, author of The Blonde and the X-Men Series, Cable. "A great addition to the best new line in comics, THE CHILL is shadowy and sexy-and pulp in all the best ways. Comics readers are in for a dark delight if they've not yet met Jason Starr, a razor-sharp master of the crime novel. Bertilorenzi's art and layouts manage to be beautifully conventional and innovative at the same time. All in all, a terrific goddamn read." -Gregg Hurwitz, author of TRUST NO ONE "It's dark, it's sexy, it's violent...THE CHILL is a blast!" - Barry Eisler, author of Fault Line