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La Belle Dame Sans Merci

LBDSM cover by Karen Lusted and Kate Brown

La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1 of 4)

32 pages. Self-published. UK comic format. Gothic-Horror, suggested for Mature Readers.

Based on the poem of the same name by John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a four-part series that drags The Beautiful Lady out of the forest and screaming into the modern world.

Written by P M Buchan, illustrated by Karen Yumi Lusted, with cover colours by Kate Brown, a back-up essay about the feminism of Keats by feminist pop-culture blogger Miranda Brennan, graphic design by Michael Stock, pin-ups by Kate Ashin and Kate Holden and a free soundtrack by Brendan Ratliff.

Buy physical and digital copies of La Belle Dame Sans Merci here.

Issue 2 will be released towards the end of 2013.

Praise for La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Matt Badham (2000AD Megazine)

“It’s a very impressive package. Nice cover. Lovely art. Intriguing story and characters. I’m very impressed.”

Kate Brown (Fish + Chocolate, Freakangels)

“Romantics and feminism in one? Hello, what more could you ask for!”

Michael Caines (The Times Literary Supplement)

“The first in a four-part comic by P. M. Buchan and Karen Yumi Lusted inspired by La Belle Dame Sans Merci. It has a modern setting, and comes with a “back-up essay” by Miranda Brennan on Keats and feminism, and a link to a soundtrack by Brendan Ratliff. So it’s a far cry from…following Keats through his correspondence, towards the clouds.

“Instead – intriguingly, and on some pages wordlessly – this graphic Belle Dame draws on Keats’s poem for its power. The first issue merely sets up the story, but I’m hoping its creators are considering a sequel.”

Max Deacon (Who In The World Was Thaddeus Mist?)

“Just finished reading La Belle Dame Sans Merci by the delightful P M Buchan. And I loved everything about it.”

Paul Duffield (Freakangels, The Firelight Isle)

“I thought it was a very smooth read and a nice adaptation (not too heavy on text and paced well). The layouts are always easy to read, and there’s never any confusion about expression or intent.”

Vera Greentea (Recipes for the Dead, Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits)

“I sat down and read La Belle Dame, really beautiful and haunting story and art. I very much appreciated the “extra goodie” text too!”

David Hine (The Darkness, Detective Comics, Storm Dogs)

“P M Buchan’s loose interpretation of Keats’s poem is as enigmatic and disturbing as the source material. Like all the best horror, La Belle Dame Sans Merci compels me to keep looking no matter how much I may want to turn away. I’ll be back for the next chapter.”

Brett Schwaner (Screen Door Revolution, Punknews.org)

“Beautiful and brutal, elegant and eerie, Buchan and Lusted have crafted one of the most horrible, wonderful terror tales to debut in recent memory.”

“Set in the dithering shadow of hard economic times, Buchan’s tale opens mundanely enough with an expecting father heading down to the unemployment office in search of work. There’s a sedate sense of normalcy to LBDSM’s opening pages that offers little hint to the unbelievably horrifying twists laid bare by Buchan’s disarming script.”

La Belle Dame Sans Merci treads lightly into some very dark territory and, really, it’s a masterful dance once Buchan and Lusted’s vision reaches fruition.”

“This is a wicked little indie comic featuring some truly deranged, damned, and sadistic characters.”

“Karen Lumi Lusted takes readers on a minimalist-manga-style trip into a day when desperate lives and restless spirits cross paths on a horrifying date with destiny. P.M. Buchan introduces two parallel storylines of amoral characters destined for doom and damnation.”

“One of the best horror comics of 2012”

Jorge Solis (Fangoria, MTV Geek, TrulyDisturbing.com)

“Readers will surely be engaged by the gripping plot and terrific artwork.”

“Buchan represents the fear of growing up, the transition into adulthood, as a metaphor for Eddie’s character development. As Eddie becomes burdened with fatherhood, he realizes there is a point in your life where you just cannot go back anymore. Eddie blindly thinks he can escape being an adult.”

“Artist Karen Yumi Lusted brings the atmosphere of foreboding doom and dismay in her excellent black and white tones, as the pages reveal the loneliness of adulthood and the unsettling terror of obsession.”

Daniel Thomson (The Bleed)

The Bleed highly recommends new Gothic-Horror series La Belle Dame Sans Merci by acclaimed creaters P M Buchan and Karen Yumi.”

Stacey Whittle (Into the Woods, Small Press Big Mouth, judge at the 2012 British Comic Awards)

“It’s really beautiful. I love the way that the story is going and I can’t wait to pick up the next one. It includes an interesting essay by Miranda Brennan, talking about the poem and the comic. I’m definitely back for issue 2, I really liked this a lot.”

Dion Winton-Polak (Geek Syndicate)

“In its simplest form, Buchan’s story deals with temptation and the fruit of betrayal. In place of Keats’ wandering knight we have a young man in modern times, facing the birth of his second child with a hidden sense of horror. Impulsively he takes (a) chance and is led deep into the woods – both physically and metaphorically. It is a moment of madness that is hard to sympathise with, but this is just the start of an intense journey into darkness.”

“The narrative and dialogue are modern, naturalistic and very engaging. What Buchan has done here which really impresses is to take the idea behind the poem and explore it in greater depth, whilst shifting our perspective. Keats has La Belle Dame as a predator, the knight a pitiful victim. Buchan challenges our sense of morality by denying the ‘knight’ his innocence and exploring what actually drives this fatal woman.”

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