Writer: David Doub
Artist: Pat Binder
Diamond, February 2022
Entering this finely drawn story in the quiet meadows of Cornwall, traveling in a carriage drawn by a team of four horses, looks more comfortable than it could have been, due to the charming penmanship of both writer David Doub and artist Pat Binder, leading us into Salty Seductions of the Salacious Sea in black-and-white sprays and rays of wit that may be a parody from the start, intentionally paradoxical or paradisiacal, making a jolly good mystery adventure with a young female journalist Miss Tilney, along with her dopey sidekick besotted in adoration for her, who gives us language like salacious later misspelled “salatious,” and anything else close to that to whet our imagination for overlapping layers of discourse in the pages as when the pair talk about the title of the story in their comfy coach, before it happens, then change it at the end, and add tags to a number of key scenes along the way scripted in an alien language as if for an Atlantean edition of the story republished some centuries afterward with postcard labels for the famous bits. Inability to comprehend this ciphered language added mystery. Were these tags a mistake? A placeholder? A message? Do Atlanteans even read?
Action plugs along with adequate mystery and mayhem, including a brief bout of fisticuffs, in standard fashion, or parodied fashion, or if intentions and fantasy can only make it happen, paradisiacal fashion, including spuming waves around the delighted couple reunited in the salatious (sic) sea. Sweeping through in one swoosh, I was grateful the story managed to keep up to animate the dramatic figures and faces of the characters, rimmed in black shadows and splinters of light. The black-and-white illustration is sometimes astonishingly awesome; and always a bit of fun, like a romp in merry old England ought to be.
Exposing evil, Miss Tilney gets her story with a little help. Billed as a Miss Tilney Adventure, the story anticipates more. I am going to find a shilling to tag along on the next ride. May villains never prosper!
[Editor’s note: the Diamond order code for this title is DEC211859.]