So. There’s this little girl. She’s a little weird. She may be undead. And she is an adorable sociopath who has made her way into my heart.
Her name is Lenore and I have a feeling I am way late to this ‘Lenore resonates with me!’ party.
I’ve never been a huge reader of comics or graphic novels. I was turned on to them a bit from a friend who brought to my attention a Hell Boy panel in which a young HB eats pancakes for the first time and Satan realized they have lost Hell’s greatest warrior…because obviously pancakes are awesome and who wouldn’t want to be in a world that had them?
So that was adorable.
But. I wasn’t really a heavy reader. And then I came upon the latest Lenore book by illustrator Roman Dirge and I just kind of loved it. She’s like a young Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, but has the unnerving charm of Curly Sue if she starred in American Psycho.
Of course when I admitted this I was told that of course I would like it – I’m a girl. And that Lenore is a girl comic and girls love girly things. It certainly didn’t read as a ‘girls only’ comic to me. Yes, she talks about soup in a hilarious way that seems as if Dirge knows my proclivity for liquid meals. Are ladies the only ones that love them some soup?
She also has tiny friends that she beats to death sometimes. Are girls the only ones that carry around tiny creatures with names like Ragamuffin, and have discussions with them while dragging them over rocks and take them to bed for some snuggle time at the end of the day?
So maybe Lenore is for girls.
But I don’t really care. Because it’s actually funny. The books tell stories that resonate with adults who were kids who didn’t dream of sparkles and sunshine but rather horror movies, thriller novels and played with black eyeliner. It’s a story of a kid trying to find her way in a world where she is in control of her own destiny, however naive her outlook and interactions with the world may be. A kid in a candy store full of razor apples and rat poison peppermints, alone with her thoughts in an amusement park full of unattended joy rides. Lenore is the little girl all ladies touch upon at a pivotal part in their lives – right about when they decide to tear off their Barbie‘s heads and make the toy chest have an orgy in the closet…or not.
While I’m not sure if Lenore has legs or if she’s just wearing one of those comfy pod outfits babies are always in, I am sure that she is doing and saying things that I have thought about as a misfit kid in a world of Abercrombie & Fitch sweater vests in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. She may not be a wholly authentic idea (goth girl is outcast, etc, etc) the execution is really sweet. And while some of it can be a bit twee, she’s just so adorable when she’s killing school kids and encountering monsters in her mind, I can’t help but get behind her.
That and the way she talks about soup is so damn authentic. Dirge must be a big soup fan. That or he has truly entered the mind of the woman because if I haven’t been thinking of soup right when some gnarly shit has happened to me…
I also thought about how I’d love to give these books to my friend’s kid and how it was a great alternative to princess stories…and then Lenore was kidnapped by an older man and exploded from being pumped full of formaldehyde, was pursued by another older man who is obsessed with her and takes her picture when she sleeps, she murdered everyone at a birthday party and shot a hotdog up a horses ass, just before cloning a friend against his will and killed the cloned-young.
So maybe I’ll wait until the kid of 5 before I hand it over. That’s old enough, right?