GRAPHIC NOVELS

Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter

Dark Horse. Jun. 2020. 104p. ISBN 9781506713472. pap. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. HORROR
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After transforming puff piece into debacle by uncovering small-town chicanery live on air, tipsy Jerri Bartman is fired as a TV reporter by her own brother Ben. Reeling from previously losing a big journalistic break, her drinking has finally left her at rock bottom. Ben offers her the only job she could do on air since angering sponsors: anonymously becoming the heavily made-up host for the Count Crowley Show, since the previous Count disappeared. Desperate to make rent for a few more weeks, Jerri agrees, and her sarcastic, alcohol-fueled comments about the film she hosts create an unexpected hit. After leaving the show that night, however, she is attacked by a monster. The unbelievable truth is that Count Crowley battled supernatural menaces in his off-hours, and she has inadvertently inherited his reputation. Can Jerri sober up enough to figure out how to stop a reanimated corpse trying its level best to kill her?
VERDICT Actor–turned–comics scribe Dastmalchian and dynamite artist Ketner (Witch Doctor. Vol. 1) join forces to create a superior horror comedy adventure with genuine dramatic tension that revels in its own rich graveyard walk as much as it celebrates the midnight tradition of the television horror host. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]

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