"Lenore: Pink Bellies" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Titan Comics
Originally published as Lenore #8 - #11
2014, 122 Pages
Graphic Novel released on March 3rd, 2015
That little undead scamp Lenore is back and ready for more mischief. This time around, creator Roman Dirge promises that someone will die. That actually isn't very unusual, as death tends to be just one of the things that Lenore leaves in her wake. What's different now is that it will be an actual member of the cast with a name! Who could it be? Find out inside!
Pink Bellies begins by exploring the origin of the mysterious Taxidermy, a man with a very creepy...I'm going with bird head, but with antlers. I'm not entirely sure what's going on with his face, but I know it's disturbing in a way that only Dirge can deliver. He's been a watchful guardian of Lenore lately, punishing those that mean to do her harm in increasingly violent and bloody ways. Taxidermy's story goes back hundreds of years to Ancient Egypt. Now his enemies are back and looking to imprison him once more, regardless of who gets in the way.
The mindless bloodshed in Lenore is always a treat. Anyone with a dark sense of humor will love this comic. People die by some horrific means, but it's all in good fun. Brains are eaten. Limbs are amputated. One guy is made into a skin suit. That's all in the first issue alone! That's before the real battle breaks out!
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Dirge has a perfect sense of comic timing throughout Pink Bellies. There are little gags that have an immediate pay off and others that take a little while to get to their destination, but when they do, they're well worth it. Towards the end of this volume, there's a recurring bit about Lenore's friend Ragamuffin and a bear's anus that never gets old. This is the second time I've read it and it's still hilarious.
The artwork borders on the creepy but always lands on the humor. There are some real unsettling things in these pages, including a pitchfork in the eye, a rainbow bridge of dead pets, a literal river of urine, and the aforementioned bear's anus. Despite all that, you can't help but love these characters and the ridiculous antics they get themselves into.
Lenore herself is definitely the star of the show and for good reason because the comic is named after her. She tends to forget common sense things, distracted by whatever shiny object pops into her point of view. This is at the expense of everyone around her.
Lenore is the kind of comic that you'll read with a smile on your face. I looked like a crazy person laughing out loud while reading this. It's just so damn funny. Creator Roman Dirge uses the medium the way it was meant to be used, by telling a fun and often times insane story with artwork to match.