Does the latest collection of Roman Dirge‘s disturbingly awesome series make for a worthwhile buy? Read on to find out.
The official description from Random House:
Everyone’s favorite cute little dead girl is showcased in all her morbid glory in this new collection of the timeless comic strip from Roman Dirge.
Return once against to the dark, surreal world of Lenore, the girl with a knack for unintentional mayhem and occasional wanton destruction in this fourth volume that includes the extremely rare #13, beautifully and painstakingly illustrated by creator Roman Dirge himself.
Let’s just get this out of the way, yes, this graphic novel is a compilation of a series that features short stories and misadventures that happen to star a dead girl and her twisted friends. And yes, many of the jokes can be disturbing, disgusting or just downright wrong… But man this is one genuinely amusing comedic batch.
Our main character Lenore, is the creation of Roman Dirge. The man behind these twisted tales is both an artist and a magician with verbal and visual styles that are unapologetic and very unique. He has no off switch, whether he’s telling a personal story from his own life or describing the work and inspiration behind his characters. Whether you agree or disagree with the overall content and context, this talented creator produces a remarkably engaging experience from start to finish.
It’s hard to dumb down and summarize what’s in this, because so much happens here. From dealing with a stalker to a birthday party gone wrong, this book has all the zany and quirky tendencies fans have come to expect to read. For example, there’s a point where a main character returns after a rather long absence, and the explanation for where they’ve been is absolutely priceless.
But more important than all of that is the fact that this is the type of script that knows it can make fun of itself from beginning to end. Roman Dirge, does a great job giving each character a distinctive personality and voice that informs every insane situation. The story is outlandish and bizarre but it’s handled so well that most readers will find some bizarre way to relate to it.
Lenore and her friends often don’t think (except for Ragamuffin) they just do things, resulting in chaos on almost every single page. In the hands of a less stable hand this might seem like a daunting task, but the visual style on display here informs a world that more often than not looks like a stable mix of Tim Burton and a children’s book. The lines are thick, a bit chaotic and somehow they offer enough detail to make each character’s unique personality bleed right through. To put it simply, the overall design of this book just fits the script really well.
Overall Lenore: Swirlies is an exceptional little compilation. It doesn’t always hit its jokes out of the park but when it does, it yields a wonderfully engaging read that will please fans and newcomers alike. If you’re looking for a unique treat at the comic shop or a smart buy at a bookstore this graphic novel might just be for you. Recommended.