May 2010

Lenore Wedgies

Reviewed by Bernice Watson

She’s super cute…as dead children go.

Roman Dirge’s Lenore is kind of like a bizarre coming together of Hello Kitty and the Grim Reaper. A 10 year old dead girl, Lenore lives in a mansion with her friends Ragamuffin, Pooty and the ever-adoring Mr. Gosh. Lenore: Wedgies is one of a three part re-mastered series (including Lenore: Noogies and Lenore: Cooties) that brings together Lenore’s misadventures in her whimsically gothic world of dead animals, creepy sock puppets and tea parties.

An artist and professional magician, Dirge originally began writing/drawing Lenore, the cute little dead girl as a comic strip for Xenophobe Magazine but his work was later noticed by Dan Vado, president of Slave Labour Graphics.

Lenore: Wedgies is an easy and entertaining read. Although the humour lacked the truly dark gothic twist achieved by writers like Tim Burton, Dirge nevertheless blurs the line between the funny and the grotesque in a similar fashion.

Interspersed between Lenore’s stories are ‘Things Involving Me’ sections where Dirge tells anecdotes from his own life and I found these actually funnier in many cases than the Lenore parts. There are also various other non-Lenore snippets scattered throughout the book. On occasion I found the humour to be somewhat juvenile and a little self-conscious and for that reason I would describe Lenore’s target market as being in the late teen/early twenties range.

What I found truly and consistently enjoyable about this book however was Dirge’s illustrations. His characters are both macabre and comic simultaneously. Lenore’s slightly dazed, bung-eyed expressions throughout had me chortling more than her one-liners. In this hardback edition Dirge has re-mastered all the artwork into full colour for the first time and he makes excellent use of it too.

Lenore: Wedgies is no doubt a must-have for fans of the original comic strip and a good fun introduction for those who haven’t encountered Lenore previously.