Review Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong
Move over Furries! Monster porn is the new fetish in town and it’s taking the world of Screamland by storm. Set in modern day Hollywood, classic universal monsters aren’t stuck in celluloid but 3-D real and now, are celebrities. With the parade of issue #1’s coming out from Image, Screamland stands out from the pact with its fun take on monsters, sex tapes and murder mystery with no overused surprise twist ending.
The drug-fueled life of Devil Fish, the creature from the Black Lagoon analogue, starts this book off with the money shot in the opening scene. Never having given much thought to how a sea creature could snort/shoot cocaine, everything is explained with Devil Fish filtering the drug into his pool of water. Unfortunately, all of this is cut short by his subsequent overdose. Cut to Carl the Wolfman eating lunch with a buddy and reminiscing about the good old days. After lunch, the duo head over to an autograph convention but not before Carl laments over his latest “film” that failed to make even the briefest of headlines. The rest of the cast of characters are introduced from female vampire Tempest to a brain of a Nazi in a Robot to Izzy, an analogue of the Invisible Man, at the autograph convention. At this point in time, the cast is made up of mostly washed up porn stars that are down on their luck and looking for something to bring them back to the top. Izzy has just the plan by showing a famous sex tape from a party at Devil Fish’s. Just like in our real world, having a sex tape can put you back at the top of the Hollywood scene but for reasons unknown, Carl does not want that tape played. Carl goes to confront Izzy but it seems someone has already “confronted” Izzy. On the writing side, this is a pretty fun book that straddles a lot of genres. Sipe and Sebela have a great hold on dark humor like with Devil Fish’s overdose in his cocaine pool. This writing team captures the depravity of the characters so well, you can almost figure out who their real world equivalents are.
Leslie’s cartoonish style meshes well with the humor of the book and he is able to convey the look of depravity on the faces of the characters. The character designs are tied very closely to the characters’ personalties; for example, Carl is underwhelming as an actor and is often overlooked so he is drawn both short and stout.
Screamland is a book with a cocaine pool overdose and monster porn but has a lot more to offer, it shines a light on the dark world of the religion of celebrity.
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