So Buttons #3
Featuring a Danny Hellman cover inspired by EC Comics Tales from the Crypt, So Buttons #3 opens on ground familiar to fans of Baylis's work, as the writer keeps to his auto-bio-storytelling roots. But it is a story rife with horrific underpinnings. In "So... I Went to L.A.," the writer and a former girlfriend discover a body during what was supposed to be a relaxed, intimate getaway to solidify their relationship. Thus, it serves as the perfect transitional piece into the realm of horror. Thomas Boatwright's moody art sets the tone, nicely balancing the real world with the terrifying thoughts of "what could be" that fill the couple's heads.
Vampire fans disillusioned by the over-saturation of the genre in recent years will revel in the second story's decidedly different take on the bloodsucking theme. "In the Old Fashioned Way" is a tale with a disturbing premise that leads to a terrifying twist. Artist David Beyer Jr. has a straightforward style which makes the unsettling nature of the tale all the more pronounced..
Beyer Jr. stays onboard for the volume's third feature, "In the Head, Please!," Again, Baylis tackles a seemingly tired genre-this time zombies-in a wholly new and refreshing way, a way that acclaimed Billy Dogma creator and The Quitter collaborator-with Harvey Pekar-Dean Haspiel quoted as being "Fucked" and having "a nice twist." Beyer employs a style more reminiscent of classic EC Comics, utilizing a thicker brush stroke, and richer, deeper grey tones, fittingly suited to the story's more grotesque bent.
Baylis wraps up the anthology on a lighter note that displays both his skewed sense of humor and his passion for films. In "In the Heat of Battle," Baylis celebrates the recent discovery of Thomas Edison's Frankenstein with a offbeat tale of how a "familiar" movie lover's incessant ramblings whilst playing chess with a zombie ultimately prove his undoing. Artist T. J. Kirsch's deft hand and muted palette compliment the two-pager brilliantly.
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