Matt Garvey is a writer on the rise with titles like Chunks and Transfer helping to raise his profile on the small press scene. Now, his second comic, The Adventures of Cordelia Swift, is about to see its third and fourth issues released at MCM London, so we take a look at the whole run so far. But is this the reason for Garvey’s monstrous success or is it so bad that it’s criminal?
Publisher: Matt Garvey Comics
Writer: Matt Garvey
Artist: Aleksandar Bozic
Our rating: [star rating=”3.5″]
The Adventures of Cordelia Swift tells the story of our eponymous hero, newly arrived to Scotland Yard after a family scandal forced her out of New York. Her first case is a grisly affair as, with the help of colleague Lewis, she must investigate a murder, committed by someone who may be more monster than man. However, as Swift continues to delve into the reasons behind this brutal death, all the while finding obstacles in the shape of an old fashioned society not liking her new methods, she discovers that there might be more to this killing than meets the eye.
Matt Garvey has produced in The Adventures of Cordelia Swift a story which, while relatively simple and straightforward, is nonetheless incredibly captivating. Reading as a nice homage to Jekyll and Hyde, Garvey switches things up on the Stevenson original with the focus on a different kind of protagonist as Swift comes across as a very Sherlock inspired character who feels very different to anything else in the book, giving credence to the ‘fish out of water’ sub-plot. However, the series isn’t perfect as many of the characters feel stereotypical for period setting and Swift herself requires a little more depth. However, this is may be less of a problem for an ongoing series, something Garvey teases a few times in the latter issues. Regardless, Garvey’s writing improves considerably as the series progresses, literally showing his increasing confidence as he gets the hang of the world and offering promise for future instalments.
The same could then be said for artist Aleksandar Bosic, who’s beautiful, almost 2000 AD-esque art also improves with each issue. What appeared as slightly rough pencils early on seem to become sharper with each issue, although the improvement is subtle enough as not to give the art a jarring effect. Bosic’s pencils are fitting for this period story, with the style aptly suiting the more horror aspects in a manner similar to Shaman Kane, although this is less the case with environmental renditions such as Victorian London or Chinatown, which are presented as the truly stand out moments. But what makes the art truly special is the relationship between writer and artist here, with Garvey obviously stepping back and having faith in Bosic, allowing the latter to shine with wordless sequences such as Swifts ascending Big Ben.
Though it gets to a slow start, The Adventures of Cordelia Swift is a truly engrossing book which ramps up as it goes, making it a real struggle to put down. This is a title with much promise and, with a creative team growing in skill with every new issue, it is exciting to imagine where it will go next.