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‘Count Crowley Volume 2: Amateur Midnight Monster Hunter’ – Advance Trade Paperback Review

When we last saw Jerri Bartman, she was finding out that her new job came with some caveats: In addition to the humiliating task of going from television journalist on the rise to the host of the late-night Monster Movie show as the new Count Crowley, she also had to shoulder her predecessor’s other responsibility – hunting very real and very dangerous monsters.

When the former Crowley went missing, he was one of the “Appointed,” a hunter of monsters hell-bent on using their influence to control the information that went out to the human population. Now, that’s Jerri’s gig, assisted only by a very grouchy and very misogynistic old man who has very little faith in her ability to get the job done, mostly because, well, she’s a woman, and this is a man’s job.

Despite that, he gives her the information she needs, and Jerri does her best to get the job done. Now settled into her dual role, Jerri is doing whatever it takes to stop the werewolves, vampires, and zombies that attempt to take control of the world at large. Oh, and she’s also discovering that it’s entirely possible that she’s an alcoholic which only adds to the difficult situation she’s now in.

Horror is an interesting genre, as it can be mixed with suspense, big action sequences, campy comedy, or any combination of genres to great effect.This series takes a big piece of the EC Comics era of horror, giving Jerri a type of Cryptkeeper role, only less undead and more plagued by additional and literal monsters. There’s a B-movie vibe to this book, adding a bit of silliness to the terror in a way that really captures the spirit of this genre.

David Dastmalchian is an incredibly talented writer and actor, with an obvious love of horror and all-things creepy. Channeling this into a comic series that combines comedy, horror, and a love of supernatural monsters was a fantastic thought, and this series is a whirlwind adventure that gets wilder as it goes. Dastmalchian really seems to have a passion for this type of storytelling which translates into some really terrific and inspired writing.

Joining Dastmalchian is artist Lukas Ketner who captures the vibe that Dastmalchian is conveying. With great creature designs and a level of detail that goes above the already high standards of the Dark Horse Comics house style, Ketner really delivers a gorgeous-looking book and toes the line between creepy and campy in the best way. Joining Ketner are colorist Lauren Affe and letterer Frank Cvetkovic who make their marks, as well. Affe’s colors are vibrant and varied, really adding depth to the presentation of the book, and Cvetkovic’s letters are spot on, with really well-done sound effects that add a great level of dynamism to the page.

All in all, this four-issue series really continues the original story of Jerri Bartman, going from journalist to horror TV host and hesitant monster hunter to one that at least has some idea of what she’s doing. It’ll be interesting to see where the team takes her journey from here.

Creative Team: David Dastmalchian (writer), Lukas Ketner (artist), Lauren Affe (colors), Frank Cvetkovic (letter)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor



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