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"Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Oni Press

dead weight 00

Written by Terry Blas and Molly Muldoon
Illustrated and Colored by Matthew Seely
2018, 176 Pages
Graphic Novel released on April 24th, 2018


Everything I've learned about camping came from TV shows like Salute Your Shorts and movies like Friday the 13th, so you can imagine my excitement at Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, as it's basically a combination of those two things.  The graphic novel follows a group of kids at a fat camp who stumble upon a murder mystery.  The killer works at the camp, so Jessie, Noah, Kate, and Tony have to narrow down the options as the body count rises.  

Matthew Seely's artwork sets the tone for Dead Weight.  It lets you know right off the bat that although people are going to be stabbed to death, you can still find time to laugh.  The images have a cartoony flare with some overly expressive characters.  It plays up each one of their personalities, so you get an immediate sense of who they are and how they see the world.  

Click images to enlarge

The characters look comical and completely non-threatening, which makes the deaths appear all the more shocking.  Based on what you've seen of everyone, there's no way any of them could be capable of killing someone, let alone a handful of people.  They're all so innocent.

Although the murder scenes are horrific and blood-filled, there are still some funny elements mixed in.  My favorite is the character killed in the cafeteria.  They find his body surrounded by hot dogs and candy bars.  That's exactly the way I want to go.  
Click images to enlarge

The diverse cast of Dead Weight is a plus, although you have to remember that they're kids and kids often make dumb decisions.  There's a positive message in here about acceptance, but it’s not beaten over your head.  They don't all gather around the campfire to sing songs about understanding.  

Dead Weight is a mystery through and through.  I did not figure out who the killer was until the very end, but in hindsight, all of the clues are there.  This makes me want to go back and re-read the book to look for additional foreshadowing.  Overall, it's a solid, funny comic about murder.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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