"Hellraiser: Volume 1" Trade Paperback Review


Written by James Ferguson


Published by BOOM! Studios



Written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette
Illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Stephen Thompson
2011, 128 Pages
Trade Paperback released on October 4th, 2011



One of the holes in my horror knowledge is Hellraiser.  I've seen all of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies but I just haven't seen anything to do with Pinhead until the comic released by BOOM! Studios.  I guess it helps that Clive Barker is co-writing the comic as he created this whole thing to begin with.  As a result of this lack of Hellraiser info on my end, I had a bit of trouble getting into the comic, but fortunately I was able to pick up the gist of things.

Pinhead is bored.  That's what this first story arc gets down to.  He now seeks to become human once more and escape the shackles put upon him as a servant of Hell.  Ol' spiky face just can't make the switch on his own.  He needs to give two weeks notice and train his replacement.  I think that's in his contract.  The only logical choice in Pinhead's mind is Kirsty Cotton, whom Wikipedia tells me is a protagonist in the Hellraiser films.  While this isn't spelled out from the get-go, it's made pretty obvious as the book goes on.


Click images to enlarge.


I dig the idea of the mythos behind Pinhead and what he needs to do, but it just seems like it's filled to the brim with sadomasochism.  Everything is black leather and bloody.  I guess there's a market for that and as a non-viewer of the films, maybe I'm just missing something.  The dialogue also seems a little heady, like the authors were pretentious high school students trying desperately to sound smart.

The artwork in this collection is split up between Leonardo Manco and Stephen Thompson  Manco handles the first half.  His artwork is very rough, as if the images are being viewed through a filter.  This can work in some cases, but often hurts the pencils as things blend in to one another.  I liked Thompson's issues a lot more as the character's were much clearer.  It made the events much easier to follow, especially when a fight scene breaks out.


Click images to enlarge.


This trade paperback collects the prelude as well as the first four issues of the Hellraiser series.  While I haven't seen the movies, I was able to jump in with minimal Googling.  I'm sure that fans of the films will eat this up though, especially with the take of Pinhead seeking a human form.  I'm definitely interested to hear what someone who has actually seen the movies thinks of the comic, too.  Let me know in the comments.







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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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