November’s comic book pick of the month: White Devil

White Devil #1

So I realized I missed both September’s and October’s comic book picks. Bad Stephanie!

If you read my open call for comics back in April, then you know I’ll be spotlighting current comic book series (in addition to my graphic novel reviews) every month or so to inspire discussion. I’m also taking requests, so please — leave a comment or drop me an email!

Check out August’s review of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9.

This month’s spotlight is a special pick. Thanks to writer Matt Evans for sending over his co-authored comic, WHITE DEVIL #1! And big apologies about the lateness!

I really liked this first issue (one of four to come), but readers should be aware that it has some very mature content. If you couldn’t guess from the title, this isn’t a kid-friendly comic.

Evan and cowriter Andrew Helinski introduce us to a picture-perfect housewife named Judy whose life isn’t what she expected. She makes dinner, watches the children, and serves her husband just like a good wife should, but they’re not nearly as well-behaved or doting as she is. Her husband sticks his nose in a newspaper at dinner and swears in front of the children, who are too busy making faces and flinging food at each other to notice.

White Devil #1 cover

But her humble living in small-town Alabama changes once Judy and her friend Betty leave for book night — only they’re not following the reading list. Instead, they’re turning to something much more sinister.

The woods at night are home to a cult of devil worshipers who strip naked, openly fornicate, and baptize members in the blood of a slaughtered animal. You can imagine this is where the black-and-white colored book (illustrated by Nate Burns) gets pretty graphic.

This comic is definitely out there, but I love how Evans and Helinski ease readers into the extreme rather than shove them into it. Judy is a normal woman who decides to escape her humdrum routine by participating in something crazy, but I get the feeling that her little experiment is going to cost her and the town.

As you can see from the cover, Burns applies red on top of the regular black and white — and even a little blue, as seen in the image at top. This technique works well since Burns uses these colors more heavily as the cult activity becomes more intense.

You can download the first issue for free at the comic’s website. Evans and Helinski haven’t set a date for the second issue yet, so I’ll keep tabs on when it’s available.

WHITE DEVIL #1 (by cowriters Matt Evans and Andrew Helinski and illustrator Nate Burns) released in June.

Things are about to get interesting: working for Kirkus Indie

Bit of good news: I’m now a reviewer for Kirkus Indie! As a long-time comic book (and video game … and movie) reviewer (see my other blog for more), I can’t wait to start writing advance reviews of traditional books as well, and I hope you’ll be kind enough to read my thoughts on them. As anyone who’s been reading this blog knows, book reviewing is something I like to dabble in once and a while. (Add me on Goodreads!)

Writing for Kirkus also means shrugging off the old MLA coat and trying AP on for size. I’ve never worked with the AP style before now, but I borrowed a handbook and started studying it in preparation. Grammar and punctuation seem to be the biggies, along with spelling and abbreviations. Much of it is already familiar to me through general experience, and much of it carries over from MLA, but if you have any tips or advice, please share.