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"The Shape of Elvira #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

Shape Of Elvira 2 00

Written by David Avallone
Illustrated by Fran Strukan
Colored by Maxim Simic
Lettered by Taylor Esposito
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 24th, 2019

Review:

Elvira has a great new gig as the female lead in a super secret monster movie. The more time she spends on set, the weirder it gets. Her co-star is very method, to the point where she doesn't even know who's under the fish-man mask. The thing is though...that's a pretty great mask. What if it's real?

In case you couldn't figure it out, The Shape of Elvira is a parody / homage to The Shape of Water, playing up some of the sillier aspects of the monster romance as only the Mistress of the Dark can. While we're dealing with a literal monster, he looks more like a hipster with a skin condition at times. Artist Fran Strukan gives the creature a playful look that's made even more so when he's out of the water. It's here he gets a perpetual duck-face and his head fin droops to the side like a swooping hairstyle. He's a movie star even with all the scales.

The scenes in the movie are differentiated from the off-camera pages with a varied layout and a more muted color palette. Colorist Maxim Simic gives these images a look of a classic film. It's as if you're analyzing a film reel instead of flipping through a comic at times. Since we're seeing the world through the camera lens, things don't feel as real. When we go back to the regular everyday world, everything is a lot livelier with some more vibrant colors.

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Letterer Taylor Esposito plays up the acting in these scenes too with some bigger, bolder font. It's like some of the actors are chewing the scenery. What really stands out is the gill-man's speech, which appears in light blue word balloons and a font that is constantly changing size. This adds to his unusual look.

Elvira handles all this as you'd expect, with a wink and a grin for the camera. In this case, that's to us, the reader, as she often breaks the fourth wall to comment on the ridiculous situation she's found herself in. She may want this job, but she's not going to play the part of the bimbo in real life. Elvira takes matters into her own hands when things get a little too weird.

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Although writer David Avallone deals with the serious element of Elvira getting drugged at one point, there's still a thread of humor running throughout the book. This is tough, especially since she wakes up in bed without her clothes on, so there's a definite uncomfortable feeling here as to what could have happened while she was out. To her credit, Elvira wastes no time in getting the hell out of Dodge.

The Shape of Elvira serves as a parody in the way that spoof films haven't been able to do in years. This isn't the Epic Movie or Date Movie version of The Shape of Water. Instead, it's a new story that plays with some of the weirder aspects of that film, with a horror and pop culture icon paving the way with a sly grin. In short, it's just plain fun.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Shape Of Elvira 2 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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