Hell High TP
Publisher: Diablo Productions
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Price: $15.00
Creator(s): Cary Anderson (writer); Eliseu Gouveia (artist)
Format: 132 pgs., Full-Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9770-1648-8
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This is an odd creation, a teen horror story written mostly for adults.  The writer, Cary Anderson, is better known for short films for Funny or Die and YouTube.  This is a more polished product than some of those, but the humor is similar.  The horror is horrific enough for most audiences, and as a combination this leads to a gruesome death that’s hard not to laugh at, because it’s both brutal and absurd.  Actually, most of the story is both, including the weapons used to fight evil, and the ways in which they must be obtained.

Evil school principal, threat to the daughter of the President of the U.S., teachers and others given evil powers, animatronic shark, weird media fans, giant soda can… it’s that kind of high school horror story.  There’s even a square dance, for reasons known only to the writer.

The artwork is a bit stronger than the writing, including the non-horror creepy bits, other than the worst Michael Jackson portrait of all time.

The President of the U.S. in this story was delightfully unflappable, and some of the characters were a treat.  Weirdly, he the most interesting non-evil adult in the story.  The writer took shortcuts that might work in a short film, but were weaker in print.  For instance, some characters drawn to evil are shown to have backgrounds that explain their "turning to the dark side," but one key character is given no background at all, and is just taken over by evil, and that hurts the story.

This story is for adults and older teens, due to brutal violence.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.