The Terrible Elizabeth Dumn Against the Devils in Suits is a one-shot published by Image Comics that is both drawn and scripted by creator and one-name-having person Arabson. The art is as crude as its protagonist, Elizabeth, who is the embodiment of what it feels like to chew tobacco and spit it anywhere you please. The concept is simple and fun. The story beats are never belabored, and the plot moves quickly. This title is perfect for comic book fans who want to start and finish something during a one-hour lunch break.
The story begins with a conversation between someone named Papi and someone who is obviously the Devil. You see, Papi made a deal with the Devil. What is that deal, you ask? It doesn't really matter. All that matters is that Papi needs to give up his first-born son, but instead chooses to entice the Devil with his youngest daughter by mentioning she is “untameable.” This speaks both to the corruptible nature of men, how we see/treat women worldwide, and just how simple you can make your plot while still maintaining the reader's interest. The events in these first few pages lay out a compelling narrative that other comic book creators should take a few pointers from.
Arabson is a master craftsman of the grotesque and disgusting. Just look at how hideous this guy’s face is!
Everyone in this book looks like they belong in the '90s Nickelodeon cartoon, Rugrats (which is famously horrible to look at). Don’t get me wrong: This art style is charming AF, and Arabson gets a lot of mileage out of flashy, gross-out moments followed by quiet, beautifully realized peaceful moments.
The Terrible Elizabeth Dumn Against the Devils in Suits feels fully realized and wonderfully paced. But, speaking of that title - wowza! That is the longest title in the history of anything! Hyperbole aside, I actually find the title hilarious. It is obviously a comment on society in some form or fashion, but other than punk-rock-girl-gets-one-over-on-the-man, I can’t really tell you what that would be. All I know after reading this is “men in suits are bad,” and I agree!
Lastly, the setting is one of a kind. The creator is from Brazil, and this story takes place in Brazil. I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic book that takes place in Brazil, other than maybe a comic book featuring famous Brazilian monster Blanka. That is a joke because Blanka (from Street Fighter) is an insensitive approximation of a Brazilian. This story, however, feels like a love letter to Brazil and strays from cliche ideas of Brazil to give you a geographically accurate story that just happens to take place in that country. I want more stories like this from places all over the world and creators who originated there.
This is a strong recommend, if for no other reason than it can be read in a very short amount of time. There is horror, action, and comedy all crammed into a concise package that runs it mouth off at authority! The Terrible Elizabeth Dumn Against the Devils in Suits is actually anything but terrible.
Creative Team: Arabson (writer/art)
Publisher: Image Comics
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