Hosely, Rantz A. (Ed.) King Diamond-Abigail (Book review)

Spread the metal:

Reviewed:  June 2022
Published:  z2 Comics, 2021
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

King Diamond’s ABIGAIL is one of the most highly regarded concept albums in Metal. Back in 2007 Martin Popoff conducted his ground-breaking, yet to be matched, poll of the greatest 500 Metal albums of all time. ABIGAIL came in at 54 but more importantly it was the number #2 concept album, following only to OPERATION:MINDCRIME.

Despite the album being 35 years old, as if time of writing, it still holds court so it is not surprising that it had been expanded into a graphic novel. Z2 in conjunction with Mr. Diamond himself have created the visual companion piece to the iconic horror story.

The regal looking hard cover is over 110 pages long and printed on nice glossy paper. The colour scheme is deep red and purples making it look even more gothic and elegant. There are no bonus features except a few illustrations and oddly enough I like one of the alternate/rejected pieces cover art better than the final choice.

For collectors there are a number of editions of varying degrees of awesomeness. Mine came with a nice set of six (should have been 9) King Diamond greetings cards. They are cool pieces are not and not at all silly with a picture of King with a birthday cake and swearing a party hat for example!

The story of the LeFay family gets fleshed out considerably and lyrics from the album and laced through the dialogue. I was a bit trepidatious at first but the writer Dan Watters did a great job. Naturally there are many references from the lyrics scattered across the text. Watters didn’t always stay faithful to the lyrics, I wish he had not messed with the original classic opening monologue of the black horsemen, but it is a minor quibble.

As for the art, it is strictly subjective. I happen to like to look and style of Damien Worm. I wonder if that is his real name. If it is, his mother, Mrs. Worm, must very proud. His work is haunting and effective for this type of story.

Lots of lots of bands who are looking for alternate revenue streams are dabbling in merchandise lines. Heavy Music merchandising, invented by Kiss and perfected by Iron Maiden, could be a risky proposition with high potential to tarnish the legacy of the artist. Can you imagine a King Diamond Lefay mansion Lego set or King Diamond toothpaste? A King Diamond red wine maybe… and even the King Diamond doll was pushing it, but this is a solid and respectable addition to the legacy of Abigail.

King Diamond's ABIGAIL