Saturday, 14 January 2017
Demon, Volume 1 by Jason Shiga Review
Jimmy Yee wants to die. He checks into a motel, writes a suicide note and hangs himself. And then wakes up in the motel room still alive! So he decides to slit his wrists with a razor in the bathtub. And then he wakes up in the motel room still alive! The fuck’s going on - is he suddenly immortal?!
In his intro, Jason Shiga talks about how comics in the 21st century have come to be viewed as a serious art form but Demon isn’t that and is more of a call-back to lurid, pulp entertainment. I totally disagree – I mean yes, it’s lurid, pulpy entertainment and I love that it’s that, but it’s absolutely legit, serious art as well. Jason Shiga is being way too modest, he’s a fucking genius and Demon is an amazing comic!
Shiga effortlessly draws you in with his mysterious Twilight Zone-esque opening act before slowly revealing what’s happening which turns the story on its head into an incredibly well-realised high-concept action thriller! The less you know about this book going in, the better, but it’s an utterly ingenious tale that hops across various genres like horror, action, and comedy, and does each one superbly. They don’t sit awkwardly alongside each other but manage to perfectly complement the other. This first volume also has possibly my favourite splash page ever - you’ll know it when you see it ‘cos it’ll be yours too!
There are three more books in this series and, after this outstanding first volume, I’m in for the whole thing. Demon is a brilliant, inspired and original comic mixing intelligent, complex and compelling storytelling with low-brow, genuinely funny scenes for a totally satisfying reading experience. Highly recommended to any adult readers with a dark sense of humour looking for an entertaining read!