ICv2 Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on August 4, 2016 @ 8:57 pm CT
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Creator: Jason Shiga
Format: 168 pgs., 2-Color, 7"x9", Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Adult
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
Based on the contents of this book and what Jason Shiga says in the introduction, if you run into him at an event, back away slowly and cautiously. If, as he says, this character represents his impulses and desires, he is a very sick, twisted and dangerous man.
Of course, it could be just a creator's hype, in which case, fine, go out and ask for his autograph, but if he grabs the pen and tries to stab you with it, don't say we didn't warn you.
Seriously, the central character in this story, part one of a four-volume planned series, is sick and perverse. The book begins with an attempted suicide which doesn't work out quite normally. This leads to a bizarre series of attempts by the main character to find out why he hasn't died. The apparent reason is even more bizarre, but his reaction to this is what makes the story so twisted and strange. There is a growing body count as the story progresses, including some very weird means of death. For much of the story, the reader doesn't know whether to be horrified or amused, because the circumstances are just SO convoluted that the horror has an element of sick humor attached, the kind where you’re relieved when the serial killer slips on a banana peel.
Because the artwork [and even the central character] is the same as in Shiga's lighter, funnier stories, this makes the story even more jarring, as it becomes more deranged and violent. That jarring nature is part of the point, but it means that the book will not appeal to everyone.
Definitely for adults only, due to graphic violence.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.