Lenore: Swirlies by Roman Dirge

9/10 Charming and often laugh out loud, the only downside is how slight this collection is.

Everyone’s favourite cute little dead girl is showcased in all her morbid glory in this new collection of the timeless comic strip from Roman Dirge. Return once against to the dark, surreal world of Lenore, the girl with a knack for unintentional mayhem and occasional wanton destruction in this fourth volume that includes the extremely rare #13, beautifully and painstakingly illustrated by creator Roman Dirge himself.

SWIRLIES is the fourth volume of Roman Dirge’s delightful comic series detailing the macabre misadventures of the cute little dead girl LENORE and her companions.

There’s no need to have read previous collections as they are made of short vignettes and stories which stand alone. Fans of Tim Burton’s art and style will especially find much to like here but the humour – cynical and smart – should transcend such narrow demographics. Don’t be put off by the fairy tale design work either, these stories are for teens and adults alike.

The art is charming, the inking gorgeous. Lettering is used intelligently, the pacing of the panelling smartly sells the plentiful gags. There is a stream of consciousness feel to some of the stories, lending a dream like quality to Lenore’s world. Dirge fills his stories with invention on every page, each tale unlike the other. Dialogue is great and the visual jokes smartly told – I actually laughed out loud, something that humour comics rarely make me do.

Dirge’s characters are great fun, Lenore’s long suffering companion Ragamuffin often stealing the show as he tries to survive Lenore’s often ditzy and skittish behaviour.

The only real downside to these stories is how slight they are and how quickly you’ll get through this volume. There is extra art at the back to marvel at and you can easily return to these shorts for a quick pick me up on a stressful day.

These are the stories of a dead child who just wants to have fun and despite how that sounds they are charming and often hilarious.

Charming and often laugh out loud, the only downside is how slight this collection is.

And here are four pages, courtesy of Titan Books (look great don’t they?)


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