Deadbeats is Funny, Quickly Paced, Jazz Horror

Deadbeats from SelfMadeHero

Deadbeats from SelfMadeHero

The Lovecraftian-writers, Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey are friends of and we always look forward to any creativity that this team can summon.  So, when they happened to give me a copy of their new book, Deadbeats published by SelfMadeHero, I had to crack it open that night.  I wish I hadn’t because although it was a quick smooth read - I couldn’t sleep before getting to the end, it was that engaging.  And in the end it was worth being a little tired the next day at work.

Giving The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast a listen, it’s pretty obvious that Fifer and Lackey are picky about their Lovecraftian-influenced stories – they can’t be weak in execution and they must be true to the Lovecraft experience.  Deadbeats certainly dips into the knowledge of Lovecraft that these 2 writers call upon but the story is not so steeped in the lore that it’s not creepy by itself.  Fifer and Lackey also bring a quirky, smart sense of humor to the dark tone of a Lovecraft world.  The pace of Deadbeats is in fact something that I was very impressed by.  If it’s not a literal punch in the face, a zombie doorman or some dreadful beastie, there’s always some joke or other unique detail that drives the story from panel to panel, page to page.

I.N.J Culbard’s cartoony but smart and emotive art goes a long way to drive the reader efficiently through the book.  His character design is quirky but effective in adding additional flavor to the world.  Culbard also does an awesome job in presenting music, a key plot point that needs to be part of the world but not obtrusive.  Something particularly interesting about Culbard’s art is the way he transitions from the “normalcy” of the mundane world to the dark and disturbing existence of monsters and black magics. Much of this he handles with something as simple as color but it is effective.

Well, it’s taken a while to finally see Deadbeats come to print, it was a quick, smooth read and I look forward to anything that Fifer and Lackey write, Culbard draws and SelfMadeHero publishes.

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