Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Curse by Mike Norton


The Curse by Mike Norton is a graphic novel the writer/artist created during the 24-hour comic challenge.  Curious to see what he created, I was glad to get a peep at this book.  Part one was created during the challenge in 2009.  The premise is quirky and amusing from the very first few pages, with a young woman shrilling at her boyfriend about his being lazy before slapping her way out the door and the relationship.  What happens next has to be read to be appreciated but I hadn’t finished the first part before I was thinking, “I know a few people who’d enjoy reading this one.”


In part two of the comic, the premise seems to have been dropped although there is a parallel theme in a shrewish woman hurling insults, this time at her husband as she carries their child.  This part was created in 2010.  Last but not least, part three leaves the bitchy women behind (thank goodness) and continues making peculiar allusions while picking up the story of Baxer, the pug dog. 

There are allusions to more random things than I could possibly list, but as a sampling I quickly found references to classic movies (like Werewolf, Labyrinth, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Birds) all peppered with a plethora of vulgarities and metaphors that focus on genitalia.  (I snorted at a reference to Stephen King’s wet dream.)  The illustrations are bold and remarkably well done considering the limitations of the challenge.  I don’t know if Norton intends on picking up where the third story leaves off and I can’t say that there is a large audience for this series if he does.  The vulgar language will likely turn many away and the misogyny is discomfiting.  But the potential of the quirky premise is not fully realized and this reader will at least want to check out what comes next, if only for a few minute’s weird distraction.

The Curse by Mike Norton is a graphic novel the writer/artist created during the 24-hour comic challenge.  Curious to see what he created, I was glad to get a peep at this book.  Part one was created during the challenge in 2009.  The premise is quirky and amusing from the very first few pages, with a young woman shrilling at her boyfriend about his being lazy before slapping her way out the door and the relationship.  What happens next has to be read to be appreciated but I hadn’t finished the first part before I was thinking, “I know a few people who’d enjoy reading this one.”

In part two of the comic, the premise seems to have been dropped although there is a parallel theme in a shrewish woman hurling insults, this time at her husband as she carries their child.  This part was created in 2010.  Last but not least, part three leaves the bitchy women behind (thank goodness) and continues making peculiar allusions while picking up the story of Baxer, the pug dog. 

There are allusions to more random things than I could possibly list, but as a sampling I quickly found references to classic movies (like Werewolf, Labyrinth, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Birds) all peppered with a plethora of vulgarities and metaphors that focus on genitalia.  (I snorted at a reference to Stephen King’s wet dream.)  The illustrations are bold and remarkably well done considering the limitations of the challenge.  I don’t know if Norton intends on picking up where the third story leaves off and I can’t say that there is a large audience for this series if he does.  The vulgar language will likely turn many away and the misogyny is discomfiting.  But the potential of the quirky premise is not fully realized and this reader will at least want to check out what comes next, if only for a few minute’s weird distraction.

Please Note:  I read this as an ARC and the book itself is not due for publication until September 2012.  By then we'll know if the creator took on the challenge in 2012 and if Baxter's story is allowed to continue.  

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