Jackson, Rob – The Haunted Hotel
I tell you what, this Rob Jackson is one hell of a storyteller. Yes, if you’ve been around this website for a decade or so you already know that, or if you’ve just read his comics throughout the years. But I can’t think of another comic artist who has this wide of a range of the types of stories he puts out. He’s very high up on my own personal list of reasons why I really do have to organize these comics of mine at some point, as it would take me hours (honestly, probably days) to pull all his comics that I own together. Anyway! You’d think that the theme would be obvious from the title, and you’d be right, but only sort of. The hotel does play a role in things, but not until the very end, and it’s not like I’m going to talk about that. This is a collection of three stories that the concierge of the hotel tells as he tries to give some prospective guests fair warning about what they’re in for if they stay overnight. It’s more than that though, as all the stories come together to further contextualize the concierge, his family situation and how all the disparate threads come together. The first story deals with a group of previous guests, a rock band who’s touring in Venice. They’re a bit depressed by one bad review in the newspaper (well, the lead singer is anyway), and they find out that he’s also staying in Venice. This leads to the thought of a confrontation, and the drunk lead singer ends up in a mysterious bar drunkenly asking somebody to murder the reviewer. The second story concerns the lady who was asked to do the murdering and how she ended up in her situation, and the final story concerns the efforts to get her out of that service. The band story takes up the bulk of the comic, and it’s full of little personal touches that really flesh out the bandmates as characters. The concierge ends up being the star of the story, although it’s way too much of a stretch to refer to him as the hero. This is another worthy addition to the Rob Jackson library, so if you’re in the mood to be creeped out more than a little bit, give this one a shot.