LENORE #11 (Mania.com)

By:Tony Whitt
Review Date: Wednesday, February 02, 2005

An accident with a bird following an argument over a banana (don't ask) forms the blood sacrifice which allows the legions of Heck to come in their great numbers to attack Lenore, the dead little girl, and her friends. It also forces the revelation that her long lost sister is actually the bounty hunter Ouchie Boo Boo. Chaos ensues, and two characters change in ways that are completely unexpected.

I'd tell you more, but LENORE is one of those books that you just have to pick up and experience for yourself, and I don't want to spoil the fun. True, this series already has quite the elaborate backstory, but don't worry about needing a "jump-on point" - there's a lengthy, lengthy first page that gives you the necessary background, and it's as much a hoot to read as the rest of the issue. But what makes this book such fun, you might ask? The fact that the main character is a dead girl whose best friend is a former vampire trapped in the body of puffy doll by a witch's curse might be one factor. The fact that the storyline can be read as a parody of, among other things, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER might be another. And the fact that Roman Dirge's work has so much in common with that of another gifted and talented Slave Labor Graphics creator, Jhonen Vasquez, might be yet another. Or maybe it's the tone that allows the author to say things like "Awww...he just a little puff puff" in the Story So Far and to get away with it that does it. Heck, there are so many good things about this book that it's kinda hard to list them all. Basically, if you have a demented sense of humor, this is just your kind of book - and if you don't, you should develop one just to have the pleasure of reading it.

Even the "back-up features", such as Dirge's examination of the wonder that is the Walking Leaf insect and his brief reminiscence about how his father f**ked him up as a child, are howlingly funny. The only one that doesn't work as well is guest artist Steven Daily's one pager of little known facts about Dirge, and it doesn't work as well because it's in such a different style from the rest of the book - and most importantly, while it's about Dirge, it's not Dirge. Even the inside back cover, in which Dirge talks a bit about his personal life and what went into the creation of this issue, has its appeal. In short, if you don't like comics about dead little girls, there's something seriously wrong with your taste, dude.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think!

Mania Grade: A-
Issue:: 11
Authors:: Roman Dirge, with Steven Daily
Publisher:: Slave Labor Graphics
Price:: $2.95