Well who doesn’t want to kill the nerd who recites haikus on a first date to the half naked girl who’s gagging for it?
The girl shows a lot more stamina, racing through barbed wire, so of course she loses the remains of her clothes, down to bra and panties, then there’s the bear trap and hopping along on a peg leg of her own tibia. Typically it’s Norman’s house that she stumbles up to and bangs frantically on for help.
Norman, of course, is in the bath, so like anyone he refuses to answer the door. What is less usual, is that while Norman is in the bath, it’s a blood bath and we have no idea what - or who - he’s cutting up.
Cut to school and Miss Jameson is having a field day about the field trip - to a Lumberjack Festival to see the saw that has killed an ever increasing number of people since it was built in 1959. This might sound weird, but I kind of like the idea of this festival, but I was ever a sick little bunny.
Naturally enough there is a twist, and the cute little purple devil on Norman’s shoulder points out that:
“You know what happens to people whose cars breakdown when it’s a full moon.”Norman is blasé,
“Yes, so we just won’t break down.”Guess what - they break down.
That however is one of the last predictables. On the riotous ride that always comes along with an issue of Norman, there are some surprises, new information about old friends, the return of those we thought we’d lost, and then there’s the whole movie reference gags, the big obvious one, the smaller ‘takes a while to dawn on you’ one, and the ‘amusing only if you get the reference’ one. Though if you don’t get the side reference it’s still sickly entertaining.
Highlights of the story include the bottom right hand panel of page 42, won’t tell you what it says because you really need the impact of the context. Then there’s the glimpse of Uncle Cyril. Next comes Pompom, I love Pompom, and he absolutely steals the show, but quite why he even appears in the issue at all I have no idea, still is a sweet diversion.
I love this comic, the drawing, the expression given to two dimensional line drawings is quite incredible, the fear even of a smell jumps of the page. The colouring as well gives an added depth, enhancing the story like mood music would a film.
The writing, the drawing, the colouring, they all work in symphony here, in fact there was only one discord and that was down to me as a reader, nothing to do with the comic. Just so it’s clear this isn’t artificial self-denigration, I’ll explain. There are a couple of times when the message of a panel is enhanced by reading a note or a sign, or in one sequence, the warnings scrawled in blood on the walls. This is a standard and useful tool for comic book writers, and if you can read them, great. But I can’t read them, clearly I can read, but I don’t speak or read French, and Norman is a French creation, something that you don’t really think about when reading it otherwise.
Anyway, this is another brilliant issue and I would highly recommend it, I really want to give this one a five, but there’s that discord to take into consideration, so for that reason, I can in fairness only give it a four, a very high knocking-on-fives-door four, but a four out of five all the same.
Norman Vol. 2 is out now. Check out some preview art here.
To find your local comic store visit: http://www.comicshoplocator.com/
Gail lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out www.gailbwilliams.co.uk - Dare you!