It comes as no surprise that one of the lines in Johnny Daggers' Neverlasting, out now from Burning Bulb Publishing, includes the words "ushered" and "raven." The narrative poem, which tells the delightfully gruesome story of two young lovers haunted by the legend of a deceased baron and his bride, is clearly influenced by the master of macabre himself, Edgar Allan Poe. But more specifically, the doomed and bloody tale of Roderick and Madeline Usher, and the form and meter of "The Raven," seem to linger behind the lavishly-illustrated pages of Daggers' book. But rest assured, Neverlasting is not an emulation of another author's work; rather, it is an entirely original poem of great horror and humor, of romance and Halloween-inspired gloom, of imagery and wordplay that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.

Fans of Poe and films such as Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow and Corpse Bride will find much to love in Johnny Daggers' Neverlasting, but any reader interested in well-crafted stories, lyrical phrasing, and cinematic imagery will enjoy this unique hybrid of epic poetry and graphic novel. While Neverlasting is available electronically, readers would be wise to pick up the print version. It's a work that you'll want to hold physically in your hands and even read aloud, letting the words roll off the tongue as swiftly as October leaves fall. With Halloween soon approaching, I can't think of a better way to usher in the spooky season that getting your copy of Johnny Daggers' Neverlasting today. -