Lenni Reviews: “Something is Killing the Children” Vol. 2, by James Tynion IV & Werther Dell’Edera

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While Erica vanquished one monster, the threat is far from over as the monster’s offspring set their sights on the remaining residents of Archer’s Peak.

While I like this series and the broader world this volume introduces, I’m getting annoyed with how sloppy this sooper seekret organization is. I know a story like this needs a body count but I’m starting to feel less fear of these people and more frustration. Guys, killing these monsters is your THING, how are so many of your people dead?! Why is Erica the only one who can take them? Get it together, Super Secret Monster Hunting Organization.

Otherwise, I’m hooked and I hope there will be more of this series. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Sensor” by Junji Ito

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Kyoko Byakuya comes across a strange village almost as if it was calling to her. The Kiyokami village is covered in what they call heavenly hair or Amagami; which seems to have mystical properties. Made from volcanic glass, these hairs allow the villagers a type of cosmic sight but also herald dark and terrible events.

This was… Strange. Usually, I’m on board with Ito’s signature weirdness – which this is chock full of – but something about this story feels unfocused and incomplete. This is one of the first offerings from this author that I will say I would pass on it if you’re not a huge fan of the creator. It’s ok but nowhere near other Ito works I’ve read. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Something is Killing the Children” Vol. 1, by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera & Miguel Muerto

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In Archer’s Peak children are going missing; never to be seen again. One boy who escaped tells tales of horrible monsters living in the shadows. A mysterious woman covered in blood seems to know these creatures and is prepared to do battle with them despite the adults believing the children are lying.

The main character, Erica Slaughter, could easily slip into the mysterious tough gal stereotype but she’s got enough personality to set her apart – even if her name is a little on the nose. This is a gory, action packed story with all the great trappings a series like this needs: badass hunter, evil creatures, and a shadow organization lurking about with their own agenda. This was cool to read and I look forward to the next one. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ice Cream Man Volume 5: Other Confections” by W. Maxwell Prince, Martín Morazzo & Chris O’Halloran

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This volume dips it’s toes into a range of stories from a parody of superheroes, how to be a ghost, and features the Ice Cream Man reading a bedtime story to children.

The series is still suitably creepy and twisted but where previously we were getting hints of what the Ice Cream Man is, that just stops in favor of these short scary stories. I was excited for that reveal but I suppose keeping us in the dark is part of the suspense and fear. I still would like more of a follow through instead of just continuing with the short story format. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Plunge” by Joe Hill & Stuart Immonen

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In 1983, The Derleth vanished near the Arctic Circle. Decades later it sends out a distress call and the Carpenter brothers – along with their salvage crew – are hired to find it.

While this is a cool little story, there are a bunch of references that will go right over your head if you haven’t seen The Thing or read a bunch of Stephen King’s prior work. For example, the director Carpenter being the name of the brothers and one of the crew being named Gage; the kid from Pet Sematary. I got a chuckle out of it but I’m a huge King fan.

Other than that, this is an entertaining journey into some Lovecraftian horrors that is paced too fast to get involved in. Shoutout to the artist because these creatures are horrid nightmare fuel. Worthwhile if you’re looking for a quick horror read. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mieruko-chan” Vol. 2, by Tomoki Izumi

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Mieruko notices her best friend, Hana, is haunted by a particularly nasty creature and tries to help without tipping off that she can see these spirits. We also add Yuria, who wants to be a powerful fortune teller one day and sees Mieruko as a rival.

As adorable as Mieruko is, the best part of this manga is the creature design. Each one is different and unique from the ones before and some of them are really gross. We are also getting a solid storyline around the shorts in this volume; and those shorter stories also get a follow-up. So, if you were wondering about the cat from the first volume, you get more of that here. 4.6 out of 5. 

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Mieruko-chan” Vol 1, by Tomoki Izumi

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High schooler Mieruko is cursed with seeing horrible, twisted spirits all around her; but no one else can. She just does her best to ignore them while also protecting her best friend from these things.

This manga is cute but oddly fanservicey with all the up skirt and cleavage shots. It’s really sweet how Mieruko just want to protect the people she cares about as best she can without revealing she can see ghosts. I won’t spoil it but there’s a story about a kitty that sold me on this series. All the stories are quick one shots so I’m wondering how this will progress and if there will be an overarching story line. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Lovesickness” a Junji Ito Story Collection

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

The collection of horror stories really shows Ito’s range as to what he can make horrible. I think my favorite is “The Mansion of Phantom Pain” but the entire saga of the cover character “Beautiful Boy and the Crossroads” is good, too. Super gory in this case, so be aware of that if gore is not your thing.

This is a solid offering with another funny story at the end featuring a fake poop. The volume leaves you with a laugh if you need to recover from the rest of the stories. 5 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Manga Yokai Stories: Ghostly Tales from Japan” by Sean Michael Wilson, Lafcadio Hearn, Inko Ai Takita

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*This is a collection of stories based on the work of Lafcadio Hearn who  moved to Japan in 1890 and married a Japanese woman, Setsu. He not only collected stories from her, but many folktales from villagers he met.

The art is really simple but gets the point across. It also reads really fast since some of the stories are so short; like a book of fairy tales you’d get for your kid. They don’t stick in your mind for very long but I can see this being very re-readable. 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Remina” by Junji Ito

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Set in future Japan, a new planet is discovered and the scientist names the planet after his daughter, Remina. While uncomfortable being in the spotlight, Remina slowly accepts her newfound fame. But the tide turns against her when it’s revealed planet Remina is moving closer to Earth.

I remember this story from one of Ito’s previous collections I’ve read. This edition is really nice, though.

Much like the planet bearing her name, Remina just sort of drifts along without much agency of her own. As everyone around her descends into homicidal chaos, one would think she would say or do… Something? Other than crying and apologizing for being a bother?

Anyway, this is a story highlighting the worst of humanity as it’s railing against it’s certain destruction. The art is classic Ito greatness but the story didn’t grab me. Remina is just so blah and everyone around her is either dead or terrible for most of the book. It’s more dull and hopeless than scary. 2.9 out of 5 for me.

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