Lenore: Swirlies Gallows Zaniness
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Titan Books
· Roman Dirge
Book Review: Lenore: Swirlies
by R.J. Carter
Published: August 1, 2012
It's a little known fact that Edward Gorey and Seth MacFarlane once spent a weekend in the Catskills, knitting sweaters and getting snuggly. When they parted ways, never to be seen again, their love child was left behind in the now-deserted cabin to fend for itself, living off crumbs it fought away from the cockroaches and, later, the cockroaches themselves. Upon running out of cockroaches, it discovered berries. Juices staining its fingers and leaving trails on the floor, the child began drawing rudimentary pictures. (Fortunately, the child also discovered the berries were edible, but that was beside the point.)
At some unforeseen point in history, the cabin was rented out by one Mr. and Mrs. Dirge, who drove a car with a trunk big enough not only for their luggage but also for the child to hide in, stowing away with them to their idyllic home in the suburbs, where he proceeded to make their life... interesting.
And if you think that's bizarre, then you're only half-prepared for the insanity which is Lenore, the cute little dead girl who lost her life and then her mind. Swirlies is the fourth collection of Lenore's misadventures written and drawn by Roman Dirge. Accompanied by her diminutive, brighter companion, Ragamuffin, and demonic shapeshifting buddy, Pooty, Lenore wreaks havoc on a child's birthday party, drives her undertaker mad, washes her hair, breaks a heart, abuses Ragamuffin in his sleep -- and you really don't want to be around when Lenore goes looking for a Valentine's Day nard. (No, that's not a typo.)
In between the longer stories, Dirge divulges some of the strange vignettes he's found himself trapped in during his life, and peppers the collection with other macabre comedy bits.
Fans of Charles Addams and Charles Schulz, if they steel themselves, will find themselves laughing and throwing up -- sometimes in that order, sometimes reversed, sometimes simultaneously. It's beyond gallows humor -- it's black zaniness, and it's just super good; something to enjoy while your hair is making gravy.