By Martin Stiff
Titan Comics, $19.99, 272 pages
Not a graphic novel for the faint of heart, The Absence is a dark and creepy supernatural tale. In a small coastal village in England, the locals are trying to recover from the events of the Second World War when Marwood Clay returns. Horribly disfigured and missing most of his memories of the war, Clay finds he is no longer welcome in his hometown. Everyone has their secrets, and Marwood is a daily reminder of things the villagers wish would stay forgotten.
The narrative of The Absence switches back and forth between Marwood and the mysterious Dr. Temple, and quickly leaves readers with the feeling that both men are hiding an important secret. However, much of the book’s mystery revolves around the town itself and the suspicious atmosphere that surrounds it. An engaging and somewhat disturbing read for graphic novel fans, The Absence offers a story that unfolds at an unhurried pace.
Reviewed by Whitney Smyth