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"Necromancer Bill" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Darby Pop Publishing

article-cover

Written by Robert Menegus
Illustrated by David Brame
Colored by Gabriel Roldan
Lettered by Frank Cvetkovic
2020, 106 Pages
Graphic novel released on June 24th, 2020

Review:

You'd think that the forces of evil would have their act together. They've only had eternity to get this kind of stuff right. Despite their best efforts, mistakes happen. That's how the human doormat, Bill, ends up with the power of necromancy. It's going to take some time to get through this paperwork, so Bill's been assigned a guardian / tutor in the form of Larry, a wise-cracking demon stuck in the form of a raven.

First and foremost, Necromancer Bill is funny. There are several laugh-out-loud moments in this book as Bill learns the ropes and how to stand up for himself for the first time in his life. Bill reminds me of a sane and more subdued version of Crazy Dave from Plants vs. Zombies. Just when you think you have the book figured out, it takes another spin to keep you on your toes. Just wait until you see what's in store at the end of chapter 2.

Writer Robert Menegus quickly establishes Bill and his life, so we immediately sympathize with the poor guy. Most of us would have taken advantage of newfound powers like these, but Bill, while timid, is a bit more responsible.

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Him and Larry make a pretty odd partnership, yet they bring out the best in each other. Larry is your typical sleazebag, only out for himself. That's how this relationship starts too. He sees Bill as his meal ticket back to the big leagues and nothing more. Along the way, they learn from one another. It helps when you come pretty close to dying a few times.

David Brame's artwork is a perfect fit for this story. It's cartoony for the most part, but it skews into brutally violent on occasion. A great example of this is when Bill is testing out his powers at a local pet cemetery. A bunch of animal corpses shuffle out of the ground and the result is a gory mess.

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You can see how Bill gets more comfortable with himself and these powers as the story goes on. He stands up straighter. He appears more confident. When he taps into these abilities, a bunch of tendrils pop out of his head, like dreadlocks made of octopus legs. Colorist Gabriel Roldan makes these come alive with an electric glow. It's clear that something supernatural is going on, contrasting with the death and decay rampaging around him.

Whenever Bill casts a spell, his voice changes. Letterer Frank Cvetkovic uses a purple font to differentiate this. He also emphasizes some of the words in the dialogue throughout the comic, adding to the humor.

Necromancer Bill is a solid horror comedy through and through. You'll laugh one moment and then cringe from the gore the next. My only real problem with the book is that it ends right when it gets going. This graphic novel is like the pilot episode of a TV show. The groundwork is laid and I want to see more about this quirky necromancer and his demonic pal. Who do we have to talk to to make that happen?

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 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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