Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 170

House Of Penance

by Peter J Tomasi and Ian Bertram, coloured by Dave Stewart, lettered by Nate Piekos
Genre notes: hallucinatory biography, pretty gore
176 pages
ISBN: 1506700330 (Amazon)

Man. This thing was an incredible experience, mostly from the art but the writing made room for the art and that's respectable. It's gorgeous and grotesque

It's basically hyperrealized biography of Sarah Winchester (of California's famous Winchester Mystery House). The barebones of the history is that Sarah Winchester married into one half of the Winchester Repeating Arms ownership. Her husband and 5yo daughter died and she kind of went a little haywire with depression, moved out to San Jose, California and started work on a house (possibly to comfort the spirits of a) her husband and daughter and b) the spirits of those slain using Winchester guns. She spent basically $23K a day building, tearing down, and rebuilding the great house (at its height, possibly 7 stories, but after the SF quake only 4). There are doors and staircases that lead nowhere.

Tomasi and Bertram embellish the legend and make her truly bonkers but also sympathetic. The book is deliriously full of hallucination and visual metaphor. It was a wild ride.

Strangely, though, they got the year and age of her death really wrong.

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