Comic, Horror, Slasher
(2016 - …)
Writer: Russell Hillman
Pencils: Ron Joseph and CJ Camba
Inks: Ron Joseph, Jake, and CJ Camba
Colors: Harry Saxon
Letters: Sergio Calvet
Attention everyone: this time I will not be reviewing a movie! It’s time to change things up a little bit and talk about an up-and-coming graphic novel called Slashermania that’s currently on Kickstarter. I had the honor of reading a pre-release copy that contained the majority of the book (as it is not yet 100% complete, and is still being worked on) and I am happy to have the opportunity to express my opinion of this piece of literature, long before most everyone else. Suck it, competitors. Before we begin, I’d like to mention that while this is a pre-release review, neither Channy Dreadful, Dreadful Reviews nor myself (Bloody Brodie) are being paid or compensated for this in any way. My thoughts and comments are my honest own, and have been in no way influenced. Now let’s slash our way into this review, why don’t we?
Slashermania is the story of a competition held for the entertainment of the rich, where select infamous killers compete against each other for the chance to win several prizes. The killers are given a location with a bunch of victims to murder, almost like a fucked-up take on The Hunger Games. This story is definitely written with much inspiration from all of the classic slashers, ranging from the beloved Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th, to the Ghost-Faced Killer from the Scream franchise, to some more recent horror films like The Final Girls and The Cabin in the Woods. There's even some love thrown toward the giallo genre.
Now it’s time for that paragraph. If you know my reviews, you know what it is: my dreaded negatives! As a caveat, I know that this is an unfinished and upcoming graphic novel, and that it isn’t quite finished yet and is subject to change. Keep that in mind! One thing about Slashermania that I’m a little unsure about is that it starts off very character-heavy, and after the introduction to the characters it seems a bit overwhelming at first. We have ten killers and fifty victims, all introduced over the course of a few panels and pages. While this is a stylistic choice, it seems a bit aggressive. (This is rectified later on -- I’ll explain in a minute.) Somewhat related to the character oversaturation, I feel this graphic novel does start off with quite a bit information to take in. This is technically a bit unavoidable given the concept and the necessary universe foundation that needs to be laid before we delve into things, but if there was a way to ease the readers in a bit more I think it would be a softer landing into the story. One last criticism was that at times I had wanted the story to progress a little bit more between deaths, instead of simply watching these poor people die. Once again, I am not too worried about that as it is early on and I wasn't yet able to read the finished product.
Now that we’ve ripped that band-aid off, let’s cauterize the wound. Wait -- wouldn't that be more painful? You understood my metaphor, at any rate. First, I wanted to touch on what I mentioned earlier: how the mass amount of characters gets easier to mentally manage as the story goes on. Without giving away anything not already obvious and implied by the concept, the killings start fairly early on, and quite a few people die. In all honesty, even if you forget names or personalities you can keep on reading and still understand what’s going on. I found this to be a huge relief; they aren't relying too much on rounding out all sixty characters. I also really enjoyed the art style chosen for this graphic novel. It has colors, lettering and art very reminiscent of classic Marvel comics, but it also incorporates a bit of a modern art style at times as well. Really -- the first thought going through my mind opening this up was, “Damn, this feels like a vintage comic.” As for the writing, I found it pretty clever. There was quite a few panels and jokes that I really enjoyed. I think that the idea and concept is really cool, and when reading this it always had me wondering where this was going to go next. I finished it wanting more!
During the competition, there is occasional interruptions and breaks to give the impression this is like a televised event. For example, we have two anchors and commentators walking us through the show, and often have guests on to talk about what is going on. This kind of reminded me of a mix between The Talking Dead, Hunger Games, and E!. This was a unique way to get the story across, and provided some interesting creative breaks from the action. Speaking of creative, the killers were definitely inspired by famous slashers, but each had their own unique spin on them to keep you interested. They each had their own set of victims to go after, and each had their own way of killing which I also really liked. One other unique thing about this comic is that it has a soundtrack -- the panels tell you what song should be playing at what time. Personally, when I read I can’t have any distractions. I tried to do the soundtrack, but I just couldn't focus. That being said, it is a really neat idea and if you are one that can multitask on both at once, I’d suggest giving it a try!
As I’m sure you can tell, overall I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. I cannot wait to read the finished project, to see which killer wins what awards, to see who the final girl might be, and to see what happens next. My copy ended at a cliff-hanger, so I am anxiously waiting for resolution. Please Kickstart this so I can see how this ends once-and-for-all! I give Slashermania 7.5 breast-filled panels out of 10! Oh, I didn't mention? This graphic novel does not lack nudity and you will definitely get your fix of naked drawings.
Follow this link so you can help fund the Kickstarter for Slashermania!