Thought Bubble Round-Up: The Anti-Climactic Adventures of Detective Vampire, The Grave Digger, Golf Girl
Our round up of new books from Thought Bubble 2021 continues with 3 more great small press comics.
The Anti-Climactic Adventures of Detective Vampire (Madius Comics)
This new book from Madius Comics (Papercuts and Inkstains) may feature new names to us (writer Lex H Jones and artists Liam ‘Pais’ Hill) but it definitely has that same mix of horror and humour that we loved in books like Incredible Bun. Our titular hero is a Nosferatu style creature of the night who decides to to become a gentleman detective in the late 19th century after years of the usual blood sucking antics. Along with his trusty sidekick Bonesworth, Detective Vampire looks into murders and mysteries, but his ability to solve crimes are often aided and hindered in equal measure by his own bloodthirsty behaviour. This makes for a gloriously silly detective book which ultimately just an excuse for lots of pun based villains (Moriart-eye) and smart self aware references (David Jekyll and Hype-Pierce), all of which makes this a really fun and entertaining read. The book is broken up into webcomic style mini strips, of 1 or 2 pages at a time and this gives the book a great pace, as well as allowing Hill the chance to cram in plenty of sight gags and puns as well as giving it a very newspaper strip feel (usually involving a gag on the final panel). While artist Hill has a really fun style that reminded us a bit of Neil Slorrance in Dungeon Fun, but with the darker elements of Death Inc. It’s always difficult to review a book like this, because you don’t want to give away too many of the jokes, and trying to explain them just takes the fun out of them. Suffice to say, this is a genuine laugh out loud book that is packed full of gruesome sight gags and petrifying puns and most definitely isn’t as big a letdown as our hero’s sleuthing skills!
The Grave Digger
The new book from Charles Raymond (Death Inc) is another slice of horror and humour that would work as a fantastic companion piece to the book we have reviewed above! Like Detective Vampire, Raymond brings a very dry but also quite silly sense of humour to this story of a gravedigger who gets more than he banks on when he buries a famous comedian. While it skates close to making references to certain shamed celebrities from the 1970s, Raymond manage to go just fr enough up to the line of good taste but ultimately keep clearly on the right side of things. He also takes things off on to a surreal flight of fancy which means you soon forget the real world horror and can focus on the comic based silliness. Unlike the more densely drawn Death Inc, Raymond has a panel per page in this one and it has a very zippy pace as a result. Visually and style wise it reminded us a lot of John Tucker’s books like Bald or the King and it definitely has a similar tone and style as those. As with Vampire Detective its one of those books which if we give away too much we will ruin it and take the fun out of it, however if you like your humour darkly silly, then this is definitely a book that is well worth digging up!
The first issue of Christopher Hazeldine’s Golf Girl was one of our favourite books ftrom Thought Bubble 2019, and this year he is back with a new issue, which is handily rolled into a double-sized bumper issue for new fans, that is packed full of golf based puns and ludicrous low budget super villains. For those not up to scratch, Becky Jones is your average grumpy teen with a job at a golf shop (despite hating the game and being very rude about it!) and when a mysterious ‘sprite-geist’ appears and gives her powers, the last thing she wants is golf related powers – but that’s what she’s got! While issue 1 introduced us to Becky and her pals as well as the shady world of Realabs (a dodgy laboratory not a gym!), in issue 2 we get to learn more about where the Sprite-geists come from and how they are affecting the residents of Shellbourne – in other words Hazeldine has worked out a way to create more ridiculous characters with daft powers and pun based names! As a result this means Golf Girl continues to be another laugh out loud read packed full of silly sight gags and withering wordplay. For existing fans it’s another great issue (albeit one where they will have half the content already!), and for new fans this is a fantastic bumper intro for a really genuinely funny book. With it’s fast paced brand of humour this is a quick and entertaining read, but like all books of this nature we just want more the minute we finish it and so we hope that we don’t have to wait for another 2 years to get onto the next part of this adventure!