Y’all Come to Cthulhu Country!

I’d been looking forward to reading this, ever since I learned it was going to be written by Aaron Williams, creator of my much-beloved “PS238” series. Could a guy best known for doing humor comics pull off an unusually weird horror comic? And then I went and got distracted during my move and missed the first issue. D’oh! Luckily, there were still some left over when the second issue came out, so I grabbed both of them.

North 40 #1

Our setting is the small redneck town of Lufton, in rural Conover County, where a couple of goth geeks have managed to get a copy of the Necronomicon, which they accidentally… activate. The result: a heck of a lot of previously normal people get turned into semi-cthulhoid monsters, and the county borders become deadly to anyone who tries to cross them. Our players include Sheriff Morgan, who seems to be one of the few county residents who has managed to keep his human DNA intact; Dave Atterhull, belligerent white-trash drunkard turned superstrong man-mountain; Amanda Walker, teenaged outcast turned scythe-wielding sorceress; Wyatt Hinkle, a much-abused country boy who ends up becoming completely indestructible; Luanne, the cafe waitress who can see everything; and Jenny, former lovestruck teen virgin and current lovestruck teen virgin zombie.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not a lot of story progression yet — we’re just getting introduced to our characters. And it is a very enjoyable mix of Lovecraftian horror and backwoods superheroics. The characters are a lot of fun, too — I love Miss Sparks, the highly religious coffee shop owner, who goes into high-level freak-out mode — probably pretty sensibly — about her customers turning into multi-eyed monsters.

North 40 #2

Luanne can see everything that needs to be seen in town, and she’s rigged up Conover County’s only working telephone system — she writes notes to people and has magic crows deliver the messages. Sheriff Morgan is looking to establish some order — by recruiting Dave Atterhull, the biggest, meanest redneck in town. Wyatt Hinkle delivers a little beat-down for some of his high school tormentors. Amanda Walker learns more about magic and gets sent on a quest by her mysterious mentor. Jenny the Zombie rounds up some dates for the prom. And something bad is on its way.

Verdict: Another thumbs up. Very enjoyable, very creepy, and even very funny here and there. More plot development coming, I’m sure, and I love the glimpses we’re getting of some of the nasty, squirmy fates that have befallen some of the residents in town.

This is just a miniseries, but I’m looking forward to the next two issues…

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