A Novel Twist on Demon Possession

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Hand Me Down, a one-shot comedian created by author Alex Paknadel, artist Jen Hickman, and letterer Simon Bowland, makes use of demon summoning within the suburbs as an sudden catalyst for a struggling household. The 16-page comedian is a enjoyable mixture of horror and sudden humor, pushed principally by leaning into well-worn tropes after which upending them for sudden impact. The comedian focuses on the struggling married couple Reuben and Lyra, who’ve misplaced their footing after Reuben strikes out to the Connecticut suburbs to raised slot in along with his well-heeled co-workers. As Lyra contemplates divorce, Reuben cajoles her to attend a home occasion, with well-dressed suburbanites sporting masks in what’s clearly constructing to some Eyes Wide Shut shenanigans. But whereas Lyra leaves the occasion earlier than getting in too deep, her husband decides to remain… with sudden (and but, not stunning) outcomes.

While Reuben’s possession by an otherworldly entity is not probably the most stunning at twists, it serves because the second the place the comedian begins to upend our expectations. The comedian properly chooses to not fixate on explaining the entity’s otherworldly powers or origins, however as an alternative dives into the affect it has on the household. Instead of coping with unsettling moments of dreads, the entity really pushes Reuben to grow to be father to his son, whereas the neighbors seethe in rage. It seems that the cul-de-sac has been controlling the creature utilizing a collection of rituals and utilizing it….principally as a intercourse toy. The thought {that a} bunch of wealthy, white Wall Street sorts assume they’ll use a demon as a glorified dildo is a hilarious twist, and it forces an unconventional association when the neighbors kidnap Lyra and Reuben’s son in a determined plea to get the entity again.

With solely 14 pages of comedian, Hand Me Down makes use of bits of exposition and off-panel implications to do some heavy lifting. Lyra is a splendidly fleshed-out character, however her husband appears solely a bit higher than the droll suburban villains proper as much as the purpose that he will get possessed. We by no means get to see any of his redeeming options, apart from he appears completely content material to time-share his physique with a demon to maintain his spouse glad. The comedian additionally tiptoes across the social problems with a combined race couple making an attempt to slot in a predominantly white neighborhood, probably as a consequence of that very same lack of house. After all, there’s solely a lot {that a} comedian can do when it must current a full story in simply 14 pages.

Jen Hickman’s artwork is frankly implausible. She has a knack for facial expressions, speaking quiet pleasure and disgust, and seemingly having a blast with all of it. I really feel that lots of the emotion of this comedian might have been misplaced underneath a much less gifted artist, however Hickman does an excellent job of illustrating the combination of horror, dread, and in addition tenderness that makes Hand Me Down work so very properly.

Hand Me Down is an ideal instance of how a lot a comic book can do with only some pages. The comedian would not attempt to rush by means of to the twist, nor does it linger too lengthy to let the story’s veneer fade. Instead, we get a superbly paced comedian that exhibits extra coronary heart than lots of ongoing collection depict in a yr’s price of pages. This is a superb mixture of horror and happiness, the right chaser to jump-start the spring comics season.

Published by TKO Studios

Written by Alex Paknadel

Art by Jen Hickman

Letters by Simon Bowland

Cover by Jen Hickman

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