"Blood & Gourd #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dead Peasant Comics
Written by Jenz K. Lund & D.H. Shultis
Illustrated by Dave Acosta
Colored by Juan Albarran
2015, 52 Pages, $6.99
With the arrival of fall, we also receive a flurry of activity around pumpkins. Everything from coffee and M&Ms to pies and Pop-Tarts are suddenly infused with pumpkin flavor and white people everywhere rejoice. The folks at Henderson Farms are not as happy about harvest season as the rest of the country. That's probably because the pumpkins are killing people left and right. Welcome to Blood & Gourd.
The local farms are being bought out by Seminal Chemical, a big corporation playing with GMOs within the pumpkin crop. The opening pages of this oversized first issue show the fearsome result. Pumpkins fly through the air with a gaping maw filled with jagged teeth opening on the bottoms. They tear through flesh with ease and little is left of a few unlucky visitors. You can imagine what things are like at Henderson Farms with the annual Ain't That Somethin' Pumpkin competition in full swing.
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The farm setting starts out pretty normal. You get some introductions to the people that work there, as well as a few customers. None of this matters as they're all little more than cannon fodder once the pulp hits the fan. Hats off to artist Dave Acosta for delivering a brilliant and terrifying display of pumpkin-on-human violence. These things creep into their victims like a disease before literally tearing them apart as stems and roots begin to grow right out of their skin. The first time this happens at the farm results in a horrifying image of a man's face horrifically mauled to the point where his skin is in shreds, one eye has popped out of its socket, and his jaw is hanging by a thread. That's just the beginning.
The pumpkins latch onto the heads of the innocent passerby, kind of like a deformed mask. Once this happens, the person is under the control of the pumpkin and they're as good as dead, especially since some of the farmhands start blowing people's heads off. Seriously, they were pretty quick to start shooting and stabbing. It's like they've been preparing for something like this. You'd think you'd have a moment's hesitation before you ran a small child's sibling through with a pitchfork right in front of him. They clearly don't mess around at Henderson Farms.
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We don't get much in the way of a story beyond the pumpkin violence in Blood & Gourd. At least half of the book is nothing but mayhem as the gourds descend on the unsuspecting people. We don't know why they're doing this or what Seminal Chemical's endgame is in all this. I haven't seen Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but I imagine it's something like this. While some of the gore stands toe-to-toe with that of recent horror movies, the book is rather lighthearted. Jokes are peppered throughout the story, although some of them fall a little flat.
Blood & Gourd is the kind of comic where you kind of know what you're getting into from the jump. It's a crazy story about pumpkins attacking human beings in increasingly violent and vicious ways. The humans don't take this sitting down and are quick to go on the defensive, taking the fight right back to those pesky gourds. If like me, you're tired of all this pumpkin flavored crap that comes out every fall, this book is for you.