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New tpb – retail 14.99 – vol3 Conspiracies (13-18). [From Abiogenesis:In the isolated, quirky village of Strangehaven, hidden in the depths of the English countryside, the village’s police Sergeant investigates a mysterious hanging, an apparent suicide and a disappearance which all took place on the same fateful night. But the village’s clandestine society, the Knights of the Golden Light create divided loyalties amongst the village folk. Newcomer Alex is drawn into a web of intrigue with both the Knights and the secret witches’ coven vying for his allegiance. Meanwhile, another murder plot is being hatched and a love triangle develops in the latest installment of Millidge’s supernatural, darkly humorous romantic murder mystery. All this and a World War II RAF fighter pilot.] Book of the Week 9/21/05: Strangehaven may happen very slowly (the previous collection appeared in 1998), but it is well worth the wait. Often compared to Twin Peaks, it tells the story of Alex, a fairly ordinary man who crashes his car in the middle of nowhere while on a road-trip, and wakes up in a strange town—which he cannot seem to leave. In quick order, he becomes the new schoolteacher and settles in. Mysteries abound. Are the members of the secret lodge loons, or dangerous? Does Adam come from Germany, or another planet? Do animals really talk to Elsie? Why does Alex keep seeing his car crashed into a tree outside of town, when it’s parked next to his house? And the second volume ended with an escalating series of cliffhangers which we trade readers have been waiting years to be resolved. I’m sure that Volume 3 will raise more questions than it answers—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Writer-artist Gary Spencer Millidge deserves special notice for his art, which uses a rigorous 9-panel grid to expand, not constrain, the storytelling, with a blend of pen-and-ink and ink-wash drawing and an attention to facial expression that keeps the many conversations that permeate the series visually interesting. This is a wonderful series, and I only wish Millidge could manage more than six issues in seven years.

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