I have to be honest. I hadn’t read Lenore before, although, I had always heard good things. I think it’s a hard book for people to recommend, because you’re not sure how people will take it when you say, “I think you’re the kind of person who’d really enjoy the misadventures of a homicidal dead girl and her friends. You’d think it’s hilarious.” Either that person will take you up on it, or never talk to you again. But, after reading it and laughing so hard I cried, I can say you should read this book.
Lenore is expertly crafted. From the fun art style to the silly dark humor, this book is truly a joy to behold. This volume in particular is quite good, as it explores Lenore’s past and her relationships with her companions. Lenore can be very cute and innocent but also has kind of a cruel sense of humor, playing pranks on her friends and taking what she wants. Her adventures range from dealing with homicidal robot undertakers to just trying to be a regular girl and enjoying a birthday party, but no matter what the occasion, Lenore and her friends always find some way to twist things into their own macabre playtime.
Roman Dirge fills the book with fantastic images from wild monsters to delightfully cute childish reveries, and he always keeps the darker stuff silly instead of scary. The hardest part of comedic comics is the pacing, but Dirge really knows how to use his panel layout and speech bubbles so that the jokes, both visual and in the dialogue, always land with the proper impact.
If you are like me and grew up on dark comedies like Beetlejuice and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, then you will enjoy Lenore greatly. With its standalone story structure and instantly likable characters, Lenore is sure to be a delightful read for anyone. Give it a try and don’t be afraid to tell your friends about it, too.