The wonderful people at Titan Books asked me if I’d like to review one of their books, the 4th in the series; Lenore: Swirlies. Now, I know OF the character. I recognize the artwork. I, however, had never sat down and read a full Lenore graphic novel. Until now.
I was giddy when it arrived at my house in a plain, brown, box with a simple label on the top. (I would discover later that this brown boxed package would later be a joke in the book.) The subtlety of the cover art threw me for a moment. I was expecting a cover in the same line as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac or Squee, both by Jhonen Vasquez. The cover has a very simple Victorian look to it. A green background and inside an oval, the cover art. Beautiful.
Seeing this “cute little dead girl” on the cover with her companion, Raggamuffin, and a slew of mini-Raggamuffins crawling over her head and floating around her, I immediately knew I was going to like her and the book. I ignored my daily chores (and my family) and immersed myself in her world.
In the first chapter you are greeted by a, seemingly, innocent little dead girl walking through the forest with a baby carriage filled with her two companions; Raggamuffin (a patchwork doll with gum for a brain) and Pooty (a….bucket with a face?). The first story is called “The Birfday Party” (and no, it is not a typo). By some mistake Lenore gets an invitation for someone else to a birthday party, and having never been to one (and surmising that it “probably means Lenore in Australian“), she decides to crash it. After meeting Pooty’s replacement (Wicket Willowbean), finding a proper birthday party outfit (no bear suit with a blood-stained tutu), a gift and wrapping, Lenore arrives at the party and inappropriate, gruesome hilarity ensues, resulting in 5 accidental deaths, an accidental handle straddling and Lenore stealing the birthday cake.
The sheer inappropriateness of the humor in this book is what sold me on it. (I adore inappropriateness in all things, especially comics.) I want to read the rest of the series now. I’m a fan of the merchandise line already. I didn’t realize until I began researching Lenore, that I had already purchased a Lenore t-shirt for a friend years ago with a kid in a pink bunny suit screaming on it. I loved the artwork and the absurdity of the statement “Sometimes I just want to put on a bunny suit and scream.” Niice.
The book also includes short cartoons by Dirge such as “Things Involving Me.” (a comic strip series), “10 Little Indians”, “The Parasol Princess” and “A Valentine’s Gift”, which all either involve Dirge himself or Lenore.
Lenore: Swirlies has 4 chapters, bonus stuff and a guest art gallery, in addition to 12 stories for you to enjoy! I recommend this book and series to anyone that likes to laugh, enjoys art, and fans of the strange. Lenore is the cute little dead girl that ill steal your heart…….and make it into lunch. ;d