On the topic of first impressions, I found the overall production quality of The Devastator to be enviably professional. There is a wonderfully wide range of visual media on display, from hand-drawn illustration to photography. Everything is pulled together cleanly and efficiently into a publication that feels at once portable and collectible. You’re going to want to carry this book around in your purse (or man-purse), so you can read out loud to all your friends. And, when you’re done, you’ll want to display it in a prominent place on your bookshelf.
The Devastator: Horror points its barrel at monsters and damsels in distress and all of the tropes in between. In the best review I can hope to give, I found myself repeatedly laughing out loud at inopportune public moments as I browsed my way around this publication. While I can certainly list my favorite bits . . . Creepy Child Adoption, The Many Monsters Van Helsing Hath Slain, Ghoul off My Plane . . . the real statement to be made is how consistently strong all of this content is. From our first encounter with the relationship-challenged Spookmaster all the way around to the reverse-side “Scary Stories to Tell Your Ungrateful Family in the Dark”, we find things to read, re-read, and share with anyone in our vicinity.
“But, it’s important to remember that the most horrifying monsters are the ones we live with every day.” –Neil Spitznogle
In some of their strongest moments, these stories point out how hilariously horrifying the banal can actually be. The gentrification of Transylvania is far worse than anything Dracula ever had planned for the neighborhood. Online dating is more fraught with peril than any vacation to an isolated Appalachian cabin could ever be. And, trying out that new vegan restaurant on the corner . . . forget about it. There will never be anything scarier or funnier than poking a stick at just how boring and normal we all are, in spite of all our attempts to be otherwise.