Ragemoor is a four issues horror comic book miniseries published from March 2012 through June 2012 by Dark Horse Comics. Set in the eponymous Castle Ragemoor, it follows the story of Herbert, the current master of the castle, as he unravels the mystery of the ancient fortress. In its pacing, tone, and plot, Ragemoor resembles a classic Lovecraftian short story.
The story has a limited number of characters, and like any good tale which concerns itself with the elder gods, none of them meet a happy end. They include:
Herbert - Stiff and prone to anxiety, Herbert is seemingly the master of Ragemoor. After falling in love with Anoria, he becomes reckless and jealous and attempts to break free of his traditional ties to the castle.
Uncle - The story begins when Herbert's unnamed Uncle and cousin arrive at the Castle. Greedy and lecherous, the Uncle hopes to pilfer Ragemoor of the natural resources he believes lie underneath it.
Anoria - Herbert's supposed "cousin", Anoria plots with the Uncle to obtain control of Ragemoor. After this attempt fails, she becomes ensnared in the machinations of the castle.
Bodrick - Herbert's butler, Bodrick has served the castle his entire life. As Herbert relinquishes concern for himself and the castle in his pursuit of Anoria, Bodrick assumes a more prominent role and reveals the true nature of the castle through a hallucinogenic vision.
Machlan - Herbert's aging father. Seemingly insane, Machlan has developed some unspoken bond with the castle in his long years in its shadow. Unlike Herbert, he has fully assumed a role as Ragemoor's steward.
Tristano - A local hunter, he spies Anoria as she is confined to her room and attempts to rescue her. Herbert's jealousy leads to Tristano's destruction, but he finds new life as a servant of the castle.
Ragemoor - An alien stone initially portrayed as the eldritch evil responsible for everyone's madness, Ragemoor is ultimately revealed to be less of a monster than initially thought. (Maybe that is not entirely accurate. Ragemoor is still a monster, albeit with even more sinister enemies.)
Ragemoor is written by horror author Jan Strnad
(who wrote Risen
) and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
, but it is the art that really sets this comic apart. Both Strnad and Piekos do a good job, but Richard Corben
's graphics stand out among a sea of innumerable run-of-the-mill comic artists on shelves today. Corben has often illustrated horror stories, from numerous shorts in Heavy Metal
to graphic novels featuring Hellboy
, and his control of mood and character carry the story.
As someone who still finds guilty pleasure in Den (Corben's barbarian character featured in both Heavy Metal magazine and later the animated movie) and who reads H. P. Lovecraft every Halloween, I enjoyed this miniseries. It isn't for everyone, but amoral Cthulhu-inspired fantasy rarely is.