I’m not much of a comic book fan, but when my significant other and I went to New York last week, we ended up in Forbidden Planet. As he looked over the graphic novels, I ended up perusing a few issues of Lenore. Then I couldn’t put them down and ended up buying Lenore: Wedgies, a paperback collection of issues 5-8. I think it’s safe to say I’ve gone from comics virgin to comics fanatic overnight, thanks to the fiends roaming the pages of Lenore.
There’s Lenore, of course, the little dead girl in question. She has some… ummm… unusual friends, such as Mr. Chippy, a taxidermied chipmunk; a Georgia-O’Keeffe-skull-guy with horse body; and the little boy next door who’s always following her around.
One day, she manages to kill the Easter Bunny in a bear trap out back. Asked why she has a bear trap in the backyard, Lenore replies “I wanted a monkey.” Don’t we all? In Lenore’s world, it seems a perfectly reasonable explanation. And she’s not morose about it at all. She’s the perkiest little dead girl you’ll ever meet.
Roman Dirge, Lenore’s creator, has a website called Spookyland, though it’s under renovation at the moment. You can get your merchandise fix at publisher Slave Labor Graphics’ webstore. The Lenore lunch box features her in a Little Miss Muffet outfit, tempting you to “experience [my] dark muffins” (dark muffins not included). Not recommended for corporate break rooms or elementary schools, unless you want your boss or child’s guidance counselor to stick a note in the ol’ permanent record.
The ‘toof hairy’ evil pumpkinheaded scarecrows who want to “suckle your intestinal goodness!” and a visit to the doctor’s office where Lenore refuses to get naked until he finds her a robe with kitties on it… none of these stories are run of the mill.
What’s particularly intriguing are the short vignettes interspersed between Lenore episodes called “Things Concerning Me”, where Roman Dirge tells some amusing true tales about himself. As a working magician, he once set himself on fire. When he bought a pet snake, it escaped in the car on the way home, with hilarious results. He includes a tattoo flash of Lenore in every comic.
Dirge has written two other books – The Monsters In My Tummy is an adult take on the aftermath caused by the bitter breakup of a long-term relationship, and The Cat with a Really Big Head, and One Other Story that Isn’t as Good, another off-center book-length comic. Although a Lenore movie was in the works, he turned it down because the script wasn’t up to par. Artistic integrity, hurray!
Lenore is a comic for those with a twisted sense of humor – like most of us here on Blogcritics. Check it out.