Comics anthologies are my thing, especially ones that are non traditional and feature various forms and styles of art, “Mirror Mirror 2” is one of those compilations, this is meant to be a “horror” compilation edited by Sean T. Collins and Julia Gfrorer. In the foreword Gretchen Alice Felker-Martin says “Great horror is the pursuit of meaning through defilement, a conscious and inquisitive violation of the mind, body, the beloved, the home; the concentric circles of security that comprise our lives. Great porn proceeds from a similar root, grappling with that which delights and with that which abases in the context of their inextricably. There is no division between the shame that ignites desire and the desire itself, just as there is no division between love and fear of death.”
Thus starts this anthology, all of it, unlike the other “Mirror Mirror” anthologies are in black and white. Again as with other compilations some pieces don’t evoke anything near horror, in fact, some pieces made me chuckle at the “try too hard” story lines, but there is pieces in here that are also bone chilling, overall its a beautiful book. 6″x 9″, flexibound in black Pantone offset with black gilded edges. The highlights are the castrating lesbian love affair in “Love” by Laura Lannes, Clive Barker (yes that one) summons his inner Stephen Gammell on his one pager “Dark Moon”, Lala Albert explores dark fairy eroticism in “Vespertine Odor”, Nicole Claveloux goes old school medieval with her silver and black paintings of erotic dark fantasies, Mou descends into the darkness of depraved self pleasure in “Empty Handed”, Uno Moralez uses 8 bit video game graphic art to show what happens when man’s idealized fantasy of women go awry in “Vitalya (I’m Fucking Tired of You)”.
Dame Darcey does the Gothic haunted castle thing brilliantly in “Meat Cake: Fire”, Johnny Negron does a cryptic and horrific poem form justice in “Perfect Beast I: Baton Sinister”, Trungles puts his own erotic spin on the old Beauty and the Beast story, reptilian style in “Shifts”, Al Columbia brings out his recurring characters Pim and Francine and strings them along in his 1930’s surrealistic horror cartoon world in a bunch of one pagers, Meaghan Garvey flirts with death in “Everytime”, Apolo Cacho runs through a weird beast like world in “Coatlicue”, and Josh Simmons does a day out with a son and mother who want to visit a cave and end up getting more than they bargained for in “The Cave”.
Over all its a solid comp with a different take and spin on what horror means, some of the pieces art wise and story wise don’t work and only elicit a shrug from me, the ones I listed above are gold. If your into unusual, underground comix you should dig into “Mirror Mirror 2”.
So where do you look in the “Mirror Mirror 2”? Go here, the company 2d cloud publishes this book, support them, when it looked like my copy was missing in the mail the owner of the company offered to send me another copy, free of charge, no questions asked, luckily it finally came: https://shop.2dcloud.com/products/mirror-mirror-2