A Hunger For Something That Is Separate From Oneself – 44Flood LUST Review

GameStop, Inc.

Lust44Flood is an interesting thing. It is a collection of artists, writers, musicians, poets, and other creative types putting out the kind of product they want to see on the shelves, funded by the very readers they want to reach. So far, I would call them a success. Their first Kickstarter campaign, for the oversized hardcover art book Tome, flew past its goal relatively quickly, reaching 720% of their funding by the end! Every campaign since then has blown by their funding goal as well.

LUST was the second campaign launch. This provocative oversized hardcover, written by Steve Niles, with artwork by Ben Templesmith on one side and Menton3 on the other, is a flipbook of the fantastic! Lust is a prose book, comic book, and an art book all in one, and each story can be read on its own, in any order, but once you dive in you’ll notice the strong ties each story has to the other. Characters and plot elements from one story constantly pop up in the other. The way the art and story work together so symbiotically make this book stand so far apart from your typical comic book.

This is some of the darkest writing I’ve read by Steve Niles, showing that true horror sometimes lies in human desire. The themes expressed within are those of lust, desperation, the interplay between virtue and vice, and exactly how far one will go to get what one feels they need. Lust is not about wants, it is about compulsion, and leaving rationality behind. From Warren Ellis’ introduction, “Lust is closing your eyes, putting a gun to your lips, and hoping to hell that it feels like a kiss.”

The stunning artwork by both Ben Templesmith and Menton J. Matthews (Menton3) is incredible, emotionally moving, and highly disturbing at times. Both artists have upped their games for this book, bringing pencil sketches, oil paintings, photographs, and more to unsettling life on the page. There is so much going on in each piece that I would just languish there on the page for minutes at a time. It definitely warrants multiple readings.

If you are a fan of any of these creators, like to look on the dark side of human emotion, or are just looking for something so unbelievably different than everything else on the shelf, I can’t recommend LUST highly enough. Although, you might want to read it with the lights on.

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