‘Not Drunk Enough: Book One’ - Graphic Novel Review (Make It a Double)

I’ve never seen a more perfect front cover quote than Jen Van Meter’s description of Not Drunk Enough. “This is either the funniest scary comic or the scariest funny comic I’ve ever read.” Not Drunk Enough tells the story of Logan Ibarra, an unlucky repairman called out to a laboratory one night, who finds himself trapped inside with a horror show of genetic engineering gone wrong.

Not Drunk Enough is a page turner. The first three pages perfectly convey the book’s tone and hooked me in an instant. I ended up reading the whole volume in a single sitting and am itching to read more of the story to see how it unfolds. Tessa Stone handles both the writing and the art on the series, and both halves of her work deserve their due. Stone’s writing is clever and funny. In short order, the book assembles an intriguing, flawed cast of heroes and monsters who play off of one another beautifully, from the literally two-mouthed Varker, CEO of the lab prior to its transformation, to the pint-sized, girly I.T. gal and slayer of abominations Bia Heyes. Logan himself is something of the everyman thrust into the situation, and a character I found easy to root for early on, in spite of his more abrasive qualities. What’s perhaps more notable is how I adore even the book’s many monsters and villains.

Stone’s art has a mature simplicity to it, blending elements from both anime and western animation. Her real talent shines through with the bizarre, nightmarish creations that occupy the lab. Eyeballs on stalks, a man with a giant crystal formation growing out of his head, horrifying Venus flytrap monsters, and more. Her creations will give you nightmares even while you admire the design. Stone’s handling of energy and movement is top notch. Reading this book, I felt the tension of a fight or a chase, relief flooding in at a moment of safety, and the utter stillness of fear or confusion that accompanies some of the deepest revelations.

And no, the title of the book isn’t just for show. Accompanying each character (and monster) introduction is a caption that includes their name, their fear, and their favorite drink. This seemingly simple pattern only gets funnier as the book goes on. You don’t realize just how much a favorite alcoholic beverage says about a character until you see a whole set of them paired up with different personalities (and beasties).

Not Drunk Enough: Book One is now available from Oni Press. For more information on the series, visit www.ndecomic.com.


5 Spicy Bloody Marys out of 5


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