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Monday, March 6, 2017

Slash In Love. Dan Rafter (Writer), Coty Taboada (Art), Mike Rickaby (Letters), WP Comics (February 2017)

An very enjoyable and engaging deconstruction and celebration of slasher films that mixes very black comedy, self awareness and gore very nicely together.
At Camp Crimson Waters a would be slasher fails to follow through while  being envious of the bodies left behind by another killer who should not have been there. Slash's bad night continues at the doughnut shop and simply goes to pieces when he finally gets home to his, much more successful slasher, room mate. In the meantime, Slash's "First Last Girl" Shelly, a girl he has failed to kill has been having an interesting day as well as she explores the cliches of slasher female victim hood to the fullest possible extent with her suitably cliche friends.
Dan Rafter has accomplished a difficult task, the balance between mockery and gore is carefully maintained, the jokes never overwhelm the action and the gore is creatively delivered. The central idea, that being a slasher is a career choice is a smart way to hold the whole process together, it creates the room in the story for the balance and allows the self awareness needed for the parody to work.Slash and Shelly are deliberately set up as genre cliches and then artfully allowed to develop into engaging and intriguing characters in their own right. Their depth allows the rest of the story to wander off in expected and unexpected directions without ever loosing focus.
Coty Taboada's art is a friendly pleasure to read, the level of gore is stupendous , as it should be, it is presented with just the right humour to not break the atmosphere of the story. The art is flexible enough to encompass the significant story and tone shifts in the comic without ever loosing continuity or engagement. The cat are nicely varied, the slashers and the females are well within genre requirements, they have more force and presence than many of their screen counterparts. Coty Taboada controls the pace and impact of the story with very smart panel layouts, the variety is used with great care and skill to drive the story and provide the room for nasty moments when required.
The colouring is super , it catches it gives the cast and context definition and physical heft, very important, the bright colours mean that the copious use of red is never overdone, it slides in among the rest of the colour scheme in a hugely satisfactory way.
Mike Rickaby's letters are easy and natural, the sound effects are stunning. As on the screen the soundtrack is a vital component and it is done with tremendous energy and great delivery. They provide the right level of emphasis at key moments.
Self awareness is a tricky matter to pull off in the slasher genre where victim stupidity is a key component, Slash in Love shows how to do it with deft humour that never betrays the genre.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts, to purchase a copy of Slash in Love, first rate gore soaked delights should be savoured, it can be purchased from

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