"Nanny & Hank: Retirement is Hell" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Bluewater Comics
Originally published as Nanny & Hank #1 - #4
Written by Mark L. Miller
Illustrated by Steven Babb
2010, 95 Pages, $15.99
Have you ever gotten back from a family get-together and wondered just how you're related to some of these people? Every family has some little quirks, but none of them are quite like Nanny & Hank, a pair of grandparents that have been turned into vampyres (not vampires). The elderly couple doesn't let their newfound thirst for blood stop them from visiting their loved ones.
All changes take some getting used to and this one is no different. After murdering a nosy neighbor and a friend with a terminal disease, Nanny & Hank venture from their Florida home to visit family across the country. They're not alone as O'Neil, the recruiter who turned them, is now tasked with taking them out because they are not suitable to become a creature of the night according to the Vampyre Council. Can these grandparents get to their family and keep their new teeth a secret?
Nanny & Hank was a surprising find when I read the first issue a few months back. It came out of nowhere with an interesting story and a unique art style. Fortunately this held up throughout the first four issues. The series does a great job balancing between horror and comedy. Yes, the main characters are blood thirsty vampyres, but they're also loving grandparents who really care about their family. Hank risks his life to come to the aid of one of his grandsons who falls outside in broad daylight. Despite returning to the house with smoke coming out of his skin, he did it to protect the boy. The kids in the story help set the tone as well, constantly bringing the comic relief.
Steven Babb's art is...well...different. It's different in a good way, though, the way that Chris Bachalo or Tim Sale is a little off, but with a style that is all their own. It's also one that still looks good. The characters have a cartoony look to them with elongated limbs and oddly shaped faces, but this is a perfect fit with Mark L. Miller's story. Babb is able to switch the tone of the art to match that of the plot. The scenes involving the children are light and airy while the ones featuring the vampyres are dark and spooky.
If you're tired of the lackluster vampires that have been flooding movies and television recently, Nanny & Hank: Retirement is Hell is the book for you. This is a fun comic filed with dark humor, vicious kills, and fierce vampyres. Rest assured, there are no sparkles here. I just hope that Bluewater continues the series.
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