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"Clusterf@#k" Trade Paperback Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Alterna Comics

clusterfuck 00

Written by Jon Parrish
Illustrated by Diego Toro
2015, 160 Pages
Graphic novel released on March 30th, 2016


There was a period in cinematic history where buddy cop movies were all the rage.  Everything from Tango & Cash to Turner & Hooch were all over the box office.  What if you were to take that tried and true formula and toss in a few demons, some vampires, a werewolf, a goat boy, and a weapon that just might bring about the end of the world?  Well, you'd have Clusterf@#k, a comic that mixes the elements we love from buddy cop films with a whole mess of supernatural elements.

Clusterf@#k wastes no time at all, jumping right into the action with former government agents Jim Parker and Karl Latimer in a pit fighting for their lives against a couple of monsters.  Parker is clearly the goofball of the duo.  That makes Latimer the straight man, but he's not your average by-the-book dude.  See, he happens to be fused with a demon, giving him the ability to transform into a hulking beast.  That certainly helps when they find themselves in situations such as this.

Click images to enlarge

We get some bits and pieces about why Parker and Latimer are no longer working for the government; however, that's not really pertinent to the story.  You just need to know that they're private investigators specializing in the supernatural and they have a somewhat rocky relationship with their former employers.  This gives them an even bigger incentive to stick it to the man when given the opportunity with their latest case involving a goat boy.  

Clusterf@#k is somewhat aware of the fact that it's a buddy cop story and actually has fun with it.  There are several occasions where someone points out that they should be saying a sort of cliché comeback or something along those lines.  Parker and Latimer are quick to point out how stupid that would be.  The humor could have been pretty cheesy.  Instead, it works on multiple levels and helps make the main characters more relatable.  They're never annoying, which is more than I can say about several buddy cop movies (I'm looking at you, Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys).

Click images to enlarge

The mystery itself is rather solid too.  You're along for the ride as these two investigators are figuring things out and cracking skulls along the way.  Although you don't get a true origin story for the two characters (for example, you never find out why Latimer is fused with a demon), the entire book actually serves as a decent origin for what could be an ongoing series.  It introduces you to the world and its rules and then redefines it over the course of the 160 pages.

Diego Toro's artwork is a perfect complement to Jon Parrish's story.  It has a slight cartoonish flare without ever losing the horror elements.  On one hand you've got silly characters like the goat boy, and on the other you've got the monsters Parker and Latimer fight in the pit at the beginning of the book.  These were once human, but have been transformed into hideous creatures as someone tried to merge them with demons.  The results are abominations that look like they're in pain just by breathing, yet ready to rip your head clean off if given the opportunity.  

Click images to enlarge

As the book reaches its climax, Parker decks himself out for war, strapped with guns and basic body armor.  More importantly, he finally takes his puffy coat off to reveal that he's jacked, somehow fitting these huge arms into a tiny t-shirt.  He would be right at home next to folks like Stallone or Schwarzenegger in their prime.  His muscles look so huge that at times, I wonder how he's standing up.  

Clusterf@#k is a damn fun comic.  It mixes horror, humor, action, and a bit of heart to make the supernatural buddy cop book you didn't know you wanted.  I'd watch the hell out of a movie adaptation of this.


Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
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Buy from Amazon UK
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating



Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.


About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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