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Trista and Holt #13

Review by Paul Bowler

With just two issues remaining, Andrez Bergen’s hardboiled, crime-ridden homage to the old school medieval legend of Tristan and Iseult fused with classic pulp noir themes and dada-inspired overtones, continues in Trista and Holt #13 as the saga builds towards its conclusion. Trista and Holt must now come to terms with married life, but not with each other, and Trista will discover the actual fate of Governal and the true menace lurking behind the chaos from the mysterious Norwegian – and nothing will be the same every again…

Featuring the mesmerizing story and art by Andrez Bergen, author of the acclaimed superhero noir-detective novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? , along with the new novel, Small Change, and the debut of Bergen’s new superhero story Magpie featuring art by veteran Aussie artist Frank Kantor in the pages of Australian comic magazine Oi Oi Oi #7, Andrez Bergens latest IF? Commix release Trista & Holt #13 sees further layers of the bullet-riddled pulp noir world of Trista and Holt begin to unfold amidst a sensual disco infused narrative of spellbinding mystery, overflowing with shady schemes, double dealings, and cruel brutality.

TRISTA HOLT 13_COVER

Andrez Bergen has woven an intricately textured issue, one bursting with more characterization than most series cram into an entire story arc, and the results is a sublime fusion of story and art that is almost intoxicating in its intensity. With passions running high for Trista and Holt this issue opens with a moment that is both beautiful and sensual, yet also tragically marred by the circumstances that have brought them together. The Governal’s funeral is over, but there is unfinished business to be dealt with. An unconsummated marriage bed lingers as little more than a shallow afterthought, secrets and lies wait in the rambling rooms of a mansion, and the lines between passion and agenda become increasingly blurred for erstwhile lovers Trista and Holt.

The art for Trista and Holt #13 contains some of the most innovative art and imagery that Andrez Bergen has employed so far during this IF? Commix series. The delicate, almost haunting blend of art, photographs, striking digital imagery, and dada-inspired cut-ups on a grand scale collectively brings this unique issue to life. The erotically charged opening scenes alone make the adrenaline surging examination of the all-encompassing mystery, lust, grief, and plethora of revelations which follow seem all the more involving because we have become so completely invested in their embrace from the outset without even realizing it. Bergen revs the self-styled noir tones so synonymous with work into maximum overdrive for this issue: from the vast shadows and hidden corners of Tintage mansion, to a disturbing find in an underground cellar, across the hazy, flighty, so-right-yet-its-so-wrong tangents of unbridled passion and heartache which Trista and Holt’s individual story arcs begin to take, before a sheen of raw negative filmic imagery and a tumbling cigarette unite as violence erupts. In short, this issue of Trista and Holt brings several plot strands together and successfully sets the stage for what is sure to be an epic finale!

Answering an unexpected call Trista goes to an old amusement park to meet the notorious Norwegian. This place holds some very special memories for Trista, but the past and the present are set to collide here in the most shocking way imaginable once harsh truths are exposed and the bullets start flying… Trista and Holt #13 is another superb issue from Andrez Bergen, with its incredible cover, brilliant story and art, this one has it all – and there’s also a stunning bonus Trista and Holt pin-up by Thomas Tung as well. With its blood-soaked last exit to nowhere cliff-hanger, Trista and Holt #13 is passion fuelled, noir-drenched extravaganza of the highest order that will captivate your imagination and entice you with every page.

Trista & Holt #13 is available 1st March 2016 / Hard Copy $5 & Digital $1

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Publisher: IF? Commix / Writer: Andrez Bergen / Art: Andrez Bergen