Lenni Reviews: “Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows “by Nathan Carson, Algernon Blackwood & Sam Ford

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

Despite the warnings of the locals, two friends embark on a canoe trip down the Danube River only to find unfathomable creatures.

Not only does the art remind me of Junji Ito but the story – a short story by Algernon Blackwood (that I will read at some point) – has some major Lovecraftian themes with the unknowable, incomprehensible evil that is ancient beyond measure and cannot be defeated. I love how the art accentuates how otherworldly everything is and the disturbing events taking place.

I can’s speak to the accuracy to the original story but I liked this. A short and to the point horror story. 4 out of 5. 

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Lenni Reviews: “Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy” Vol. 1, by Mirka Andolfo

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and recommended for mature readers.

Due to a horrific mining accident in the small town of Woodsburgh, Lady Swanson is haunted by the tragic event, leaving her with debilitating flashbacks and visions. But when Lady Hellaine and Mr. Goodwill arrive in the town, Swanson’s fears of the creatures in the mine are once again brought to life.

If you liked The Thing, you’ll enjoy this Victorian era equivalent. In fact, from what I’ve read of the comic follow ups to that movie, this may be a better option if you’re looking for that type of story. It’s really cool with fun twists and turns, great characters, and some great detail in the art to really sell the strangeness of these creatures. If there’s a volume 2, I am totally down. I give it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ice Cream Man: Hopscotch Melange” Vol 3 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martín Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran

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This volume gives us some background to where The Ice Cream Man came from before we get into the more vignette style the pervious volumes had. One story is set in Mexico on The Day of the Dead and is completely in Spanish with a translation later in the volume; which was interesting. Even having to bounce between the translation and the story, I was still eft with a more authentic feeling than if they just used carrots or asterisks to visually tell us it’s another language.

But the big deal here is getting some info on our demonic Rick and why Caleb is hunting him. They’re really going off the wall with this one and I’m interested to see where it goes. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Killadelphia Vol. 1: Sins of the Father” by Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, Luis Nct

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

Detective James Stangster goes back home to bury his father, who had been murdered. While dealing with his hatred for his father, James stumbles upon a nest of vampires hold up in his old neighborhood.

I like the dark and gritty art, I like the idea of who the leader of the vampires was (avoiding spoilers), it feels like it should be really cool and interesting but it all stalled out for me. I found it hard to keep focused on the meat of the plot and felt myself drawn to the character designs and perfect color palate for the dramatic violence. An ok book. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “You Are Obsolete” by Mathew Klickstein & Evgeniy Bornyakov

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

Disgraced journalist and alcoholic Lyla Wilton is contacted to investigate an island where all the adults die by their 40th birthday and the kids are all controlled by an app and lead by Martina. Martina’s goal in summoning Lyla is to move her influence from the tiny island to controlling all the children in the world.

This comic feels like an episode of Twilight Zone, directly referencing it in that it’s bleak, depressing, topical, and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But it’s too on the nose. If you’ve ever read or seen a story with “the evil little kid” or “technology is taking over the world” storyline in it, there isn’t much new here. I like the art, I like that the protagonist is a pill popping alcoholic woman instead of the usual grizzled guy like a Stephen King character. It’s an alright book but it didn’t stand out for me. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Moon Lake” by Dan Fogler, Tim Seeley, R.H. Stavis, Nick Tapalansky, Stefan Hutchinson, Brian Holguin, et al.

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

This is a horror anthology centering around a cursed area called Moon Lake.

With a Crypt Creeper like narrator called “Man in the Moon,” these stories are chock full of gore but not so much with the horror. I almost feel bad comparing it to Tales from the Crypt because while the campy nostalgia of that show is a reflection of it’s time and kinda predictable in a way, this collection is trying WAY too hard. It keeps reaching to appeal to the ‘farts are funny’ crowd and as that is not me, I was mostly bored and just flipping through the pages. I can’t give this a 1 out of 5 because clear effort went into the art. I’ll be generous and give this a 2 out of 5 because the last story in the collection saved me from complete boredom. 

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Lenni Reviews: “Venus in the Blind Spot” by Junji Ito

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and suggested for mature readers.

In another great collection, we get a nice selection of more of Ito’s signature nightmare-inducing tales; including one about how his interest in horror grew as a child. What sets this collection apart is some color pages! They look beautiful, even if Ito’s art is fantastically effective in black and white. If you are a fan of horror, this will fit the bill with ghoulish perfection. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Drifting Classroom: The Perfect Edition” Vol. 3 by Kazuo Umezz

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

The kids find train tunnels filled with horrible creatures that turn humans into their own. These things actually have a record of what happened to humanity. Sekiya manages to take over the school but has no clue what to do when those tunnel creatures attack leaving Sho to be the hero again.

I know all the kids are scared but… They really jump to some fantastic conclusions when the finger-pointing starts. The constant infighting and constant splitting up is starting to get old. I was hoping for more of Sho communicating with his mother or perhaps some progress being made to get them home? I’m sure it’ll happen but after three volumes of hundreds of pages, I’d like to see some real development here. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Elfen Lied Omnibus” Volume 3 by Lynn Okamoto

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In this volume, we learn about Director Kurama’s past; whose wife died and he was charged with killing his Diclonius infant daughter. We also have Chief Kakusawa, who runs the horrid facility and his plans to eliminate humanity.

This volume has a lot going on. Kurama, Kakusawa, the chief’s daughter Anna who’s a giant mutant thing, Nana still helping Bando for some reason because he’s a real jerk; and of course all the antics with Nyu living on while others think Lucy is dead. The random wacky hijinks aren’t quite enough to offset the dour and dark overall tone. This is a good story but it really follows through with the ultra-violence and general fact that overall, people are terrible. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Elfen Lied Omnibus” Volume 2 by Lynn Okamoto

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In the continuing adventures of “Everyone is Awful” Bando gets some upgrades and devotes himself to hunting down Lucy; who’s past is revealed more in this volume; specifically when she met Kouta.

In this volume we meet Nana and Nozomi, to add to the makeshift family Kouta is forming around him. And again, I reiterate my statement that “Everyone is Awful” should be the tagline of this series. I mean, YIKES.

At least at the end of this one, we get a much more lighthearted story about a violinist and a pianist coming together for their music. It was actually uplifting but compared to the rest of the omnibus, that’s not saying much. It’s a good series if a downer. 4 out of 5.