I’m well-aware of my non-critical awareness of the world of American comic books. I basically give you guys the big headlines that I think any well-rounded nerd would want to know — much like I try to do with everything else, really — and leave the heavy-lifting to the many, many other qualified people. But when a creator asks me specifically to check out his work, I’ll always do so and hope that my layman status gives me a take useful to TR‘s non-comic-obsessed readers.
That creator was Van Johnson, whose new book Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer comes out today from Slave Labor Graphics, and I think it’s very much worth checking out. Even if you’re rolling your eyes at the title, watching Pinocchio lie during battle to force his nose to grow so he can snap it off and stake vampires is just outstanding. And since the comic is set after the death of his creator Geppeto by vampires, and based on Carlo Collodi’s original and very bizarre 1883 Pinocchio novel, it’s much more than a one-joke story — it’s a weird mix of horror, comedy, action, and myth, and it’s a great read. Indeed, Pinocchio’s tell-tale lie detector makes for both some great comedy and some surprisingly poignant moments. And as you can tell from the trailer, Dustin Higgins’ art, an excellent mix of Jhonen Vasquez and Mike Mignola, suits the story perfectly.
So for whatever it’s worth, I give Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer a big thumbs up. If you’re not heading to a comic store you can order it here for $10.95.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.