Friday, May 20, 2016

Booknote: The Complete Love Hurts

Kim Andersson, The Complete Love Hurts. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2015.  ISBN: 978-1-61655-859-8.

Genre: graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: horror, dark humor, romance, others
Format: trade paperback
Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library

I have to say this was excellent. The book is an anthology series, much like The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt, featuring stories of love and romance with a horror element or twist. Peter Snejbjerg in the introduction describes the book as follows:

". . . a collection of short stories that would let him tackle any genre, any style, any subject, almost: Love Hurts, a blend of romance comics with horror and, well, basically anything Kim cared to throw in the pot" (6). 

Indeed, Andersson tackles pretty much any genre: romance, westerns, pirates, reality shows, pulp, science fiction, fantasy, etc. His comics are often short, often no  more than two or three pages, but he manages to pack a serious punch in each one. Some stories are truly horrifying, and others are more dark humor. And while a few may have a happy ending, as romance stories usually do, that happy ending comes with a dark twist. Often there may not be a happy ending as a horrifying ending or a sudden twist is revealed. In the end, we do see that love hurts.

The book contains 32 issues (each a story) ranging from two to four pages, and it also includes two longer titled stories. As I mentioned, the stories tackle just about any genre. Some of my favorites include:

  • Issue 8 about a jealous girlfriend who catches another woman cooking for her man. The other woman turns out to be his mom, but that is not the twist. 
  • Issue 14 about the seance featuring a woman trying to contact a dead lover. I was not expecting the twist in this one. 
  • Issue 17 is a wordless story where the art tells the tale of a girl and her teddy bear. 
  • Issue 21 offers a great solution for people who won't shut up during the movie in a theater. As someone who hates those inconsiderate selfish assholes, this story really resonated with me. 
  • Issue 29 is the reality show comic. Again, this kind of reality show competition is definitely the kind I would gladly watch. 
And there are many more stories. I really enjoyed the stories in this volume. Though you can read it year round, this would make a great selection for Valentine's Day, especially if you have a dark sense of humor about the day. It is a great selection for libraries, but keep in mind it is an adult title. This can be a shocking but also fun series. The art is also very good, adding a bit of campy horror element at times. This is one I will definitely be adding to my personal collection.

5 out 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

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