Page 45 Review by Jonathan
You all right, Hank? Youve barely said a word the whole drive.
Guess Im not used to getting shot at.
Yeah, well, its never easy.
When were you shot at?
The war, France. You know that.
What? You were in the band. You never saw any action.
We were with the infantry. Things get boring out there. Sometimes the soldiers wanted to see us tap dance. Pass the time.
Wish I wasnt.
Ah, the life of the jazzman, never easy. Still, things are about to get a lot tougher for Lester, Hank and Willie. And thats even taking into account theyre already on the lam from gangster Tony Carbone after Lester gave him a knuckle sandwich at the mob wedding they were playing, all to save a damsel in distress. Cue a road trip to Riverside, Mississippi, as the lead started flying. Its not a total bust, though, as theyve got another gig already, playing a midnight funeral for a preachers wife. Despite Lesters best attempts to convince Hank and Willie its all going to be a breeze, it very quickly starts to become evident this isnt your typical send off!
Spooky spine-tingling art as one would expect from Ian Culbard fresh from his recent Lovecraft fright-fests (AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD, plus the equally excellent and soon to be collected zombie / upper crust mash-up NEW DEADWARDIANS) which actually provides some unintended genius misdirection, for me at least, in that I kept completely forgetting this was a comedy!
I was so focused on Ians portrayal of first the fisticuffs and car chases, then by the sense of foreboding that begins to envelope our happy go not so lucky trio as they head deeper into the boondocks to begin to prepare for their command performance, that every time Lester would whip out a tension-relieving (mine that is) wisecrack, I was aha, yes its a comedy! And a very funny one too, actually. Its not always the easiest task melding horror and genuinely amusing comedy, getting the laconically droll gags in yet still keeping the scary element sufficiently serious and creepy. Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey have done a sterling job here though: part Ealing Comedy, part Hammer House of Horror!
One final comment, I absolutely loved Ians faux-aged cover, I had to do a quick double take at the first copy I pulled out of the delivery to check there wasnt a problem with the lamination on the cover... I do worry about myself sometimes... Minus 3 sanity points just for being a complete fuckwit...