“THE DEVASTATOR: HORROR” (Comic Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
It’s hard to do a good horror satire without it coming off as completely cheesy, lazy, or just plain unoriginal. Many scary comedy films are dropped into pit of rolling eyeballs and exasperated sighs as their over-the-top approach to horror tropes fall short of being funny or entertaining. Luckily, the good folks at Devastator Press don’t have this problem; dedicated to poking fun at every aspect of entertainment and society, THE DEVASTATOR has released its most recent pack of rabid reviewers on their horror issue. Writers from The Onion, THE DAILY SHOW, and Adult Swim among others add to this 60-page behemoth of comics, stories, illustrations and fake reviews all poking fun at Fangoria’s bread and butter. Frankly, they couldn’t have done it any better.
The great thing about Devastator’s Horror issue is that there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re looking to adopt a creepy child, learn the do’s and don’ts of what to expect! Need survival supplies for whatever the haunted woods can throw at you? Perhaps the AIEE 2015 Survival Catalog will have what you’re looking for. Of course, if you’re just looking to relax with a story about a party gone wrong or reviews on the perfect lame urban legend there is plenty inside waiting for the discerning horror movie consumer in all of us. Bite-sized and easy to digest, THE DEVASTATOR: HORROR is a quirky read that can be put down and picked up whenever the need arises and doesn’t request much of the reader except to kick back, relax, and relive all those quirky teenage deaths.
There is also a great indie zine vibe about THE DEVASTATOR that taps into that old, crusty MAD magazine feeling while updating itself for the internet comedy age. But, unlike some of the MAD issues, THE DEVASTATOR is clearly written by a crew of people who not only know their subject, but are fans of it as well. Perhaps that’s why this satire magazine works so well and avoids the same, boring comedy approaches as say, the later SCARY MOVIE films. The writers manage to focus in the nuances of what make horror good or bad and play around with those ideas. Articles such as Screech Noise about the silly ways sounds effects are made (my personal favorite is Spooky Ghost Howling through the Trees) or reviews of soft-core torture porn that are hilarious and frankly, pretty clever, articles to write. It’s all stuff that tends to be in the background of movies and it’s great to see them get a little bit of spotlight.
Of course, any idea can be less than clever if a magazine doesn’t have solid writing or scratchy, small print art, but once again, THE DEVASTATOR: HORROR lives up to expectations. Of the many talented writers and artists to lay their comedic hands on the issue, we are treated to Dan McCoy (THE DAILY SHOW), Patrick Baker (MTV, NPR), Maddox (CRACKED), as well as art by Kenny Keil (MAD Magazine), Tom Smith (Adult Swim) and Jimmy Haise (The Onion) with a ton more who unfortunately can’t all be included in the article. Their combined wit and talent creates a smooth read that doesn’t get stuck on fluctuating quality that usually haunts collective works but instead is a work that is on the same page with every collaborator. It a little bit like horror communism but thanks to digital book option, without the long lines; THE DEVASTATOR: HORROR is on stands now.