GRAPHIC NOVELS

Bites of Terror: Ten Frightfully Delicious Tales

Quirk. Mar. 2020. 144p. ISBN 9781683691648. pap. $14.99. Rated: Teen+. lit/humor
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A decadently sinister, pun-prone partially eaten dessert named the Cake Creeper presents ten darkly humorous horror tales featuring anthropomorphic food items in this entertaining collection. Even more offbeat than the premise Cuddles and Rage (creators Liz and Jimmy Reed) have cooked up is their presentation—instead of illustrating their stories, each panel is created by photographing hand-sculpted characters posed in intricate dioramas. The resulting images are as adorable as the stories are disturbing. In “Reap What You Sow,” a widowed watermelon quickly regrets burying her husband’s seeds in their backyard. An apple nervous to meet his boyfriend’s friends finds himself at the mercy of mysterious robed figures eager to perform the horrific Ceremony of the Baker Man in “Potluck.” “Death By Chocolate” is a memorable spin on serial killer tales, as a banana reporter shadows a turnip policeman’s hunt for a depraved killer called The Artisan, and “Make a Wish,” in which an ice cream cone and his ice cream wife are tempted by a mysterious salesman, ends with a surprisingly affecting, deeply sad final twist.
VERDICT Cutesy presentation, witty humor, and genuine depravity combine to create a memorably weird and wonderfully entertaining compilation.

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