The Three Ghosts of Tesla–Graphic novel is a mash-up of alt history tropes

Review by C.J. Bunce

Fans of The Man in the High Castle, The Rocketeer, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow have a new mash-up of science fiction and the supernatural to look forward to this Spring.  French cartoonist and writer Richard Marazano and artist Guilhem are bringing their graphic novel The Three Ghosts of Tesla to English readers thanks to Titan Comics’ Statix Press imprint.  The book won a special double “Grande Ourse” award for best writing and best drawing at Andenne Convention, Belgium, in 2018.  It’s 1943 and Kaolin Slate hides in his apartment.  What does that have in common with H.G. Wells-inspired humanoid robots, missing homeless people in New York’s East River, zeppelins filling the skyline, Rosie the Riveter, and American captains of industry secretly colluding with Adolf Hitler?  Find out in this new alternate history graphic novel.

Is Nikola Tesla dead, or is he still around but in hiding, and does he alone hold the secret to preventing further war?  What are these strange mechanical beings that look like something right out of Doctor Who?  Who is Kaolin Slate, and how can Tesla and Edison be wreaking havoc years after their deaths?

Guilhem’s artwork is evocative of the 1940s, but with an infusion of Metropolis and art deco, cut with steampunk influences.  Marazano’s story takes its Wells inspiration seriously.  He uses clever mock-ups of alternate history newspaper stories to fill in the gaps of the ongoing narrative.  The political tension is gritty and intriguing.  The idea of Edison as a crazed madman bent on destroying the planet is certainly imaginative, and the resulting tale could be in the same world as Sky Captain.

Here’s a preview of The Three Ghosts of Tesla:

Recommended for all fans of alternate histories, H.G. Wells’ brand of classic science fiction ideas, and steampunk mash-ups, the graphic novel The Three Ghosts of Tesla is coming your way in May.  Add it to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic shop now, or pre-order it here at Amazon.

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