Return of the Cute Little Dead Girl (Lenore is back)

Welcome back, kiddies. Today as promised we’re going to be talking about Lenore.

Some of you may be saying “Hey! Why is he talking about Lenore? Lenore is not a horror comic!” To which I reply, “Hey! Why not calm the hell down? First of all the horror comic genre is too restrictive. And second of all, dark humor fits. And third of all, I like it and it’s my blog. So stop hollering at me!”

So for those of you who have been living in a cave or at the very least not going anywhere near a comic book store for about a hundred years, you may not know what Lenore is. It’s a comic book made by Roman Dirge. It’s about a little dead girl and her strange and varied friends and acquaintances. To really give you a handle on what this comic is like, imagine that Tim Burton did comics instead of movies. And that everything he did was actually good.

Although that seemed like a stretch when I wrote it, I have since recalled the drawings and such that Burton used to do, and they are really good. And very similar to Dirge’s stuff. Not in a copying way, but in a, these-guys-are-like-each-other way. And his early films where he did whatever he wanted were awesome. I personally like “Vincent” If you haven’t seen it, seek it out. So anyway…

I first came to Lenore, somewhere around 10 years ago, those of you who have been reading my blog for quite some time, should be aware that I don’t consider exact facts to be very important. So around 10 years ago is good enough, it could be five years. It could be 20 years, what difference does it make in the fullness of time?

The point is, a while back Roman made a series of comic books, called Lenore, and they were very thin and done in black and white. When I say black and white, I mean grayscale. The art was simplistic. Now I have, in the past, complained about bad art and much of the bad art that I complain about is simplistic. This may lead some of you believe that I think all simplistic art is crap. That’s not true at all.

Crappy art is crap. There is an infinite range of styles. They range from sparse design-like elements to fully rendered lush realism. And any of them can be good and any of them can be crap. It’s actually a very complex interplay of the emotions being conveyed and the artist’s skill-set in implementing it. You must also account for the intended audience and the context of when the piece was created. The first story in Dark Horse’s new Creepy issue #1 for example was crap. Not because it was simple, but because it didn’t work with the story. I realize this is not a review of Creepy. It was just so bad, I had to say it again.

The point is, Roman Dirge’s art is perfect for the story and the style and the mood of the comic. After a few years of there being no Lenore’s, a new comics company has picked it up. And they are now printing brand-new issues of Lenore, starting a new series. And this time it’s in color.
Now since I just got done saying that Roman’s art on the original was perfect for what it was doing, and it was black-and-white, you should understand why this kind of made me a little nervous. I heard that the new one would be color. I was afraid that the color would blow. And by blow, I mean, suck. Or even by some miracle do both simultaneously. Turns out I had nothing to fear.

Apparently Roman himself does, the coloring. I was afraid they would have handed it off to some coloring house in India or some such, and the colors would look as shitty as that Richard Corbin color insert stuff they used to do in the Warren Eerie magazines, back in the 70s. Now don’t get me wrong I love Richard Corbin, but the “color” parts of Eerie, blew.

No real reflection on Richard, a lot of the color printing done in that period of the 70s was pretty bad. (Interesting side note — Richard Corbin actually went on to do some of the most honored color work in comics. The stuff in which he actually used color as part of the art is some of his most beautiful stuff. And I will be talking about this in the future when I get around to doing a big piece on Richard Corbin. He, like Bernie Wrightson, is among my favorite artists ever. And I will be talking about all of these people at great length. In many posts.)

I’ve rambled on long enough. The whole point of this post is to announce the rebirth of Lenore in color and in a thicker magazine. The magazine has changed publishers, and is now being published by Titan books, a division of Titan publishing group Ltd., the cover price is $3.99. It also has, I can tell more pages than the older ones. It’s significantly thicker, but it has no page numbers. So I don’t know how many it has… All right… if you’re going to make a big thing out of it, hold on while I physically count them… 32, plus the cover sheet. (Happy now?)
Additionally it is printed on the most beautiful optically white uncoated paper. It looks amazing. Dark Horse could take a lesson from this. I don’t understand why they (Dark Horse) chose to use a coated stock for a one color print job that was a recreation of a magazine that was originally on uncoated paper. (bitching about Creepy again, sorry)
A big (and for me, welcome) change is the inclusion of advertising. Some would think that that’s a bad idea, but not me. In this case the advertising is for other publications along these lines. And it’s difficult to find this sort of thing. So I really view the ads as the publisher doing me a great favor. The ads are for things like the collected Lenore books. And these are some thick hardcovers, which just from the ads I can’t tell if they are collected comics or written for the books. Point is, it doesn’t matter. Its nice to know that they’re out there and will be on sale February 2010.
Now that I’m actually reading the ad, the books are reprints of the original comic series, and they have been colored. So you can bet that when February 2010 rolls around, I will buy both of them and review them. This, even though I own all the issues that are going to be reprinted in them. (What do you want to bet that they get a good review?)
This issue also has a preview of a new Roman Dirge Comic creation called Samurai Sloth. I will have to get that too. Although the magazine doesn’t say anything more than “Coming soon”.
I guess at this point, saying that I like Lenore and that I think Roman Dirge may be one of the funniest comic book writers I’ve ever read, might be kind of redundant. Go out and buy the new Lenore. If anything it may actually be better than the original series. The art is perfect. The writing is hysterical. If I could change anything about them. I would like them to be longer, or come out more often.(or in 3D. Everything’s better in 3D)
Oh before I go, Roman has a website where you can find all things Dirge-ish or Lenore-ish. It’s called spookyland.com. You can obviously get to it by clicking the previous sentence where it said spookyland.com or here where it says spookyland.com. See you next time.
…and remember to save those chicken livers!

These Dead Are Made For Walking

As most of you know if you read this blog The Walking Dead has been a monthly black-and-white comic book series which was published by image comics starting 2003.

The artist on the book was Tony Moore originally, and later on became Charlie Adler. The writer was of course Robert Kirkman. The story revolves around a group of survivors struggling in a world full of zombies. I personally like the beginning of it because they used an interesting plot device to  Continue reading “These Dead Are Made For Walking”

I wrote this one first then forgot about it

Well eventually I have to get around to reviewing creepy number three.  Specifically, dark horse’s new, creepy number three where the cover page is Hitler dressed up like a girl.  There appears to be a dead German Shepard laying on the floor and a bunch of strangely embarrassed looking Gestapo agents simultaneously hieling and acting like assholes.

for stories the exchange are one of which unspeakable evil takes unrecognizable form.  Spoiler alert!  This is a story where they fart-around for like a hundred pages before they get to Hitler disguise himself as a woman escaped.

The second story of his piece of shit is pelted.  The stories have no depth, but nice art and really should do for the kind of thing that I would expect to see and hear.  And I wish that they would do a better job with, but they didn’t.  It sucks ass, but there a few panels here and there that are very good.

The curse, what can I say?  This is the third and final chapter of a story that made the first magazines suck so badly.  They felt they needed to drag it out through two others.  Piece of Shit.

Maquilladora. is almost classic creepy.  It’s not awesome, but a lot of the original creepy was not awesome but was what it was supposed to be.  And this was what it was supposed to be good story well, lame story of good art nice concept works well with with the theme of the issue, which is just creepy.  She.

Loathsome lore is the second last one, of course.  And as always is not a story, this one isn’t even very good is just rambles on about werewolves all but and then finally they end with “a creepy classic.”.  Which means we didn’t bother forking out the money to get a new story for you.  Instead, look at this whole piece to Shit we dug up from the old magazines that nobody ever really cared if they saw again.  And in this case, once again, as in issue one.  They ended with a fucking science-fiction story and not horror.

My original admonition that these people suck cock still stands.  More and more day by day, I ask myself why I ever thought dark horse was good (by the way, one of the demons at the end of pelted looks eerily similar to the Don Post mask known as fang face.  It happened to be one of the top five selling masks of all time.  I like to be educational as well as hostile.

Anyway the reason that a man like dark horse was… Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor.  To this day still an awesome Freakin’ set of books.  First of all.  It’s written by Harlan Ellison, that’ all it really needs to make it awesome.  Then add to that the fact that it’s all illustrated in comic format, and each story is done in different styles by different illustrators.  And in the classic Ellis and tradition, he has introductions to take up almost half the book.

If you go buy that through this link, it helps support this blog and doesn’t cost you one cent extra.  You also get my undying gratitude.With that I go to bed.  Thank you all for reading and/or listening.