Kate’s Review: “The Last Comic Book on the Left (Vol.1)”

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Book: “The Last Comic Book on the Left (Vol. 1)” by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, & Henry Zebrowski (Eds.)

Publishing Info: Z2 Comics, June 2022

Where Did I Get This Book: I own it.

Where You Can Get This Book: WorldCat | Amazon | Indiebound

Not a joke, not a gag like a necromancer The Last Podcast on The Left is reviving the tradition of the humor comic magazine except this time as a series of graphic novels. Inside you will see stories edited and curated by your Last Podcast Hosts made to entrance the eyes and titillate the senses. SEE: Detective Popcorn solve the meaning of LIFE! WITNESS: The descendent of Albert Fish! GET AROUSED BY: Very Sexy Mothman! A mix of Comedy and Horror created by some of the best comic writers ,artists, warlocks in this dimension

Once read The Last Comic on The Left will change your life maybe for the better.

DISCLAIMER: The Last Comic on The Left has not been funded by an underground satanic cult. All Cryptid portrayals have come with the explicit permission of The Mothman, Sasquatch and Jersey Devil estates. By buying, reading or even looking at this book you are consigning your soul, spirit or any eternal animating entity to the creators of this book which again is not funded by a satanic cult

Review: It’s been a few years, but I am still wholeheartedly into the podcast “The Last Podcast on the Left”. While other podcasts have fallen to the wayside, partially due to not driving as much, partially due to other factors, this one is still a must listen for me, and I will support Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski in as many creative endeavors as I can. So of course I was going to pick up “The Last Comic Book on the Left”, the new graphic novel horror anthology inspired by the show, and designed by a number of writers and artists working in today’s comics industry. I preordered it and it took awhile after some delays, but when it did arrive, I dove in.

This is a collection that has a lot of entries, from short stories to ongoing tales to odd artwork that sends up pin ups and ads from old comic anthologies from back in the day. You can tell that all of the contributors have a clear vision that they are putting forth, and it’s a mish mash of varying successes. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, haphazard as it was. There were a few stand outs for me. My favorite things were the pin up artworks of various cryptids, from the Jersey Devil to Mothman to Sasquatch, designed in ways that make them out to be Playboy centerfolds with sexy designs and insights into their favorite things (the Mothman one was particularly hilarious, as it’s just otherworldly gibberish with the occasional unsettling bits of English). There is also a really interesting story by Noah Van Sciver that starts out as a seemingly graphic history of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, the offshoot Mormon cult that is known for egregious abuses and fanaticism, but instead turns into a meditation on how we tell these stories (this was probably my favorite in the collection; I have been deeply fascinated by the FLDS and I really liked how Van Sciver turned the whole concept of comic histories on its head). There is also a creepy comic that is based on the Sandown Clown Incident, which was just unsettling and tense because of not only the source material, but also the framing of the tale itself with two small children encountering a creepy clown-like figure, the tension building and building into high strangeness discomfort.

But here is the thing. While I think that fans of the podcast (like myself) will find a lot to love in this collection, I’m not sure that there will be a lot of crossover appeal to broader audiences. With the previous LPOTL book being the fantastic “The Last Book on the Left” there was so much great content and context beyond the podcast lore that I felt any fan of true crime could pick it up and enjoy it. “The Last Comic Book on the Left” is definitely a love letter for the fans who have been with the show for awhile, with references to such characters as Detective Popcorn and Scungilli Man that a layman just isn’t going to get. I think it’s super fun, and I think that there will probably be some people who like the weirdness of a lot of it. And a lot of the stories have outside accessibility to be sure. But it does feel niche. I’m okay with niche, however. This comic is written for me as a fan of the show. It’s chaotic and wild. But it’s absolutely a matter of ‘your mileage may vary’ in terms of other readers.

That said, let’s just look at one of my favorite bits of artwork. BEHOLD: SEXY JERSEY DEVIL by artist Sean Van Gorman!

The caption at the bottom sent me into hysterical laughter. (source: Z2 Comics)

It’s out there, it’s nutty, it’s funny and strange. I had a fun time with “The Last Comic Book on the Left”. It fuses the humor of my favorite podcast with some creative graphic novel designs and storytelling.

Rating 7: It’s going to be very niche, I feel, geared towards fans of the podcast, but I enjoyed the chaotic energy this collection was serving.

Reader’s Advisory:

“The Last Comic Book on the Left” isn’t included on any Goodreads lists as of now, but I think it would fit in on “Horror Comics Anthologies”.

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