Dark Humor and Undead Atrocities Abound in ‘Lenore: Swirlies’ [Review]
It’s been a little less than a year since our last visit into the twisted mind of Roman Dirge (see Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge) and thanks to the folks at Titan Books we’ve got the chance to take another taste of the madness. This time, though, we’re sticking with Dirge’s seminal, undead creation: Lenore.
For those unfamiliar with the character, Lenore is a “Cute Little Dead Girl” inspired by the character from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name. Joining her are an oddball cast of paranormal delinquents that include a sock puppet stalker (Mr. Gosh); a taxidermied deer head with legs (Taxidermy); and a cyborg mortician (Mortimer Fledge), all of whom reside in the town of Nevermore.
Darkly humourous and deeply disturbing, Lenore: Swirlies is the latest volume of stories centered around the residents of Nevermore that collects issues #13-16 of the Lenore comic book series. Dirge’s deranged sensibilities take hold with the first tale (The Birfday Party), in which Lenore inadvertently kills all of the other guests, and continue to carry the balance between grotesque and genuinely funny throughout the rest of the book.
Other highlights include the “shocking secret” of Lenore’s rebirth, a hair-dwelling hobo, and a variety of short comic strips such as Things Involving Me – semi autobiographical accounts of events from the life of Dirge himself. There’s even a reference to Aliens! If there’s one criticism about the book it’s that it seems to end far too soon. I’d much rather trade the hardcover for another few issues worth of material to read. Aside from that it’s a decent addition to any strange kid’s book collection, definitely assured to leave you with at least a few stitches!