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Deadbeats back

Chad Fifer, Chris Lackey & I.N.J. Culbard


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

“You all right, Hank? You’ve barely said a word the whole drive.”
“Guess I’m not used to getting shot at.”
“Yeah, well, it’s 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.
“You serious?”
“Wish I wasn’t.”

Ah, the life of the jazzman, never easy. Still, things are about to get a lot tougher for Lester, Hank and Willie. And that’s even taking into account they’re 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. It’s not a total bust, though, as they’ve got another gig already, playing a midnight funeral for a preacher’s wife. Despite Lester’s best attempts to convince Hank and Willie it’s all going to be a breeze, it very quickly starts to become evident this isn’t 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 Ian’s 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 it’s a comedy!’ And a very funny one too, actually. It’s 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 Ian’s faux-aged cover, I had to do a quick double take at the first copy I pulled out of the delivery to check there wasn’t a problem with the lamination on the cover... I do worry about myself sometimes... Minus 3 sanity points just for being a complete fuckwit...