Monday, 7 December 2015

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, Volume 3: The Orm of Loch Ness Review (Eric Powell, Kyle Hotz)


Billy and the travelling Freakshow head north to bonnie Scotland, home of Nessie, to rescue their reptilian buddy Callahan. But oh no, what’s this - Dracula?! Buh buh buuuuuh! 

Unfortunately, Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz’s underrated series goes out with an underwhelming whimper in The Orm of Loch Ness. Considering someone called Tracy Marsh co-wrote this one while Powell wrote the others solo, I’m putting the blame on this Marsh person - poo on you! 

I’ve loved how this series takes familiar characters and smooshes them together making them part of the same world. In the last book it was Jack the Ripper, H H Holmes, Mr Hyde and the Elephant Man; in this one it’s the Loch Ness Monster, Dracula and some Christian saint - it’s a playful and imaginative storytelling approach. 

The last book was more exciting because you didn’t know who the Ripper was until the very end. Here, you know who the Big Bad is from the start so there’s no tension. You’re just waiting around for Billy to defeat Dracula and save his friends. Ho hum. 

A lobster-clawed chap is on the trail of Billy and friends, murdering along the way. This was an entirely useless and unpleasant subplot - not only does it go nowhere but we have to read about a sick fuck molesting kids. A pointless, horrible character. 

Hotz’s artwork is great. Lots of big, sprawling horror visuals, warping the reader’s expectations of vampires, as well as some great gothic settings of ruined castles, dungeons, and rural villages. 

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities is a really good horror series utilising Powell’s dark adult humour and penchant for supernatural characters and explicit violence well. You’ll likely enjoy this title if you’re a fan of Powell’s Goon series even though this third and final volume is the weakest in the bunch.

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, Volume 3: The Orm of Loch Ness

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