Monday, September 3, 2012
SHIT. NOT ANOTHER LEGION BOOK! A review of SADISTIC STORIES OF SUBURBIA
After reading TWISTED TALES OF TERROR, one can only feel a sense of regret as one picks up yet another book from Legion Studios. This one has exactly the same kind of childish horror cover, but unlike the other, it has a big warning. “If you are easily offended or disgusted do not open this book . . . yet beware this kind of depravity actually exists.” This just reeks of the idea that there’s going to be more exploitative bullshit within these pages.
Surprisingly enough, this book isn’t quite as bad as the other one. Don’t get the wrong idea, it’s still pretty bad, but it’s not AS BAD. At least this book doesn’t rely on boobies and puerile thoughts. Still, it relies heavily on really, really dark sex.
There are only two stories in this one, and the first is “Basement Screams,” written by Spider C. Guffey and illustrated by Jeremiah Buckle. A suburban family man comes home from his white collar job only to don a clown’s outfit and go downstairs, where he keeps a kidnapped girl in a cage. He brutalizes her (and yes, that means exactly what you think) until she escapes and tries to exact her revenge. Can this happen in real life, just like it says on the cover? Sure. It has, many, many times, and that puts this story a head and shoulders above anything in TWISTED TALES OF TERROR. Sadly, that’s just not good enough. When it comes right down to it, sure, depicting tales of children in danger is inappropriate, but art is full of inappropriate things. That’s not why a story like this is weak. When you get right down to it, child-in-danger stories are weak because they’re a cheap shot. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who jerk off to kiddie porn and those who are disgusted with anyone who would hurt a child. The former is the minority, so when a writer tells this kind of story, they’re preaching to the choir. That is the opposite of good art. It’s like flipping a coin with two heads and calling heads. Guffey isn’t the only weak one here; Buckle’s art is good in places, but when it really needs to be good, it’s impossible to figure out what is going on. That is about as weak as you can get in a visual medium.
The second story is “Dead Fuck” written by Master Legion (oh no, not again) and illustrated by Adam Geyer. This one packs a bit more of a punch, and it exploits a little-known law in Wisconsin. Up until very recently, it was not a crime to fuck a dead animal in the land of cheese.
Legion introduces us to Edward Hein (ho-ho, get it?), a child who has just hit puberty. He doesn’t really hurt anyone, but he has a penchant for fucking dead animals. The townsfolk want the sheriff to do something about him, but what can he do? There’s no law against Edward’s crimes. However, when he finds Edward violating a dead deer by the side of the road, he is very tempted to blow the kid’s brains out. He forces himself to back down until one day, he decides the only way to handle this kid really is to kill him. It turns out that JURASSIC PARK was right, though: nature finds a way. In this case, nature has a definite plan as to how to deal with this necro-bestial fucker. This actually isn’t a half-bad story, but just like in the previous tale, it creates a villain so nasty that there is no way a reader could ever sympathize with him. Each and every reader is rooting for the sheriff to pop the kid. You can’t have successful horror without having a gray area. At least Geyer gives us something good and ugly to look at, even though it’s more than a bit reminiscent of John McCrea’s work on DICKS. Unfortunately, he falters on the last page, when he needs to be the most effective. It’s a jumble of images that makes no sense.
Is this one better than the previous Legion book? Yes. Is it worth purchasing? No. Unless you want to jerk off at the thought of fucking children or dead animals. If you’re looking for honed horror, don’t even bother.
SADISTIC STORIES OF SUBURBIA
Written and illustrated by various artists
Published by Legion Studios