The Annotated Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse #2

Criminy, is it that time again already?

Apparently so. The dawn of a new month means that we’ve got the release of another issue bearing down on us, which in turn means that the Research Department has fallen behind on its appointed task yet again. But really: Can you blame me?

But don’t worry, knowledge-seekers! Tonight, we head down to the archives with a copy of Laurenn J. Framingham’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse: Book One #2 in an effort to heap mockery and scorn illuminate the mysteries of the printed page once again!

Grab your own copy and follow along!



0.0: A couple of recent comics ran this ad for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Welcome to the Junglenow available in hardcover!–in which your humble annotator was quoted:



And yet, they misspelled my name, giving me the commonly mistaken double-M instead of the lean, single-M version I’ve been saddled with for the past 26 years. What’s this got to do with Anita Blake? Well, besides functioning as a sort of control group by proving there’s an urban fantasy comic out there that I actually like, it turns out that the ad was designed by Bill Tortolini, who letters the Anita Blake comics.

Could this slight against my name be retribution for the allegedly insulting tone of my annotations? Is it the start of a secret “dis war” between the creative team and me that could only be settled in a freestyle rap battle?!

Well, no. Bill’s actually a really nice guy and a consummate professional, which I know because he keeps refusing to swap out Anita’s dialogue for lyrics from Old Dirty Bastard’s Return To The 36 Chambers. Oh well.


1.1: For those of you just joining us, here’s a little something to catch you up:



A pretty accurate summary of the events thus far. Except that I’m not sure if we’ve seen Anita raise a zombie, although we have seen her refuse to do so for money (which would, in fact, be her job), and while she did kill some vampires in the last twelve-issue series, it took her about eleven issues to actually get around to it. Other than that, though, spot-on.


1.3: You know, I haven’t said much about the coloring on this book since Anita finally recovered from her albinism sometime in the middle of the first series, but assuming that everything’s supposed to look this way…



…I can only assume that everyone in the series thus far is either a) the victim of a severe head cold, b) extremely jolly, or c) on their fifth Rum & Coke of the morning.

Hey, Rum & Coke… that’d make this go a little fast–no! It’s far too early for that kind of talk. Probably best to just move on.


2.3: Dolph says that he sometimes forgets Anita’s “not one of the boys,” which I imagine is a little harder now than it was before artist Ron Lim decided to slim down Anita’s thighs by moving that extra weight up to her chest. Hot-cha!


2.1: In this scene, Anita examines another half-eaten body, and you know what? Forget about chasing down and fighting vampires and other evil creatures, getting into trouble and pulling off daring escapes with her burgeoning super-powers! What I really want to see is some Crime Scene Investigation, because there’s just not enough of that in pop culture today! Bring on the six pages of wandering around somebody’s house swapping quips with a monosyllabic cop–a scene continued from the last issue–because that is exactly what I’d like to see in a book with the words “Vampire Hunter” in the title.


4.1: See?



I told you it’d work better.


4.5: You know, when the characters in the book itself start standing around discussing the weather…



…then keeping the readers interested in the story might be a problem.




I don’t know about you guys, but the phrase “voodoo priest for the entire midwest” just cracks me up. I mean first of all, what, is Baron Samedi appointing regional managers now? And second, really? The entire Midwest? Wow, that’s impressive. I’m sure being the number one source of juju in Peoria, Illinois is a real accomplishment there, sport.


6.6: There’s an old rule of editing that I’m sure comes in handy when you’re trying to adapt something for comics that says if a piece doesn’t advance the plot or reveal character, then cut it out. That said…



…I’m looking forward to seeing Anita defeat her enemies by using a hot steering wheel. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to devote both a caption and the art in the panel to referencing it, and that would just be crazy.


9.1: Hey everybody, it’s Manny! Those of you who were with us for The First Death might recall that Manny Rodriguez, as well as being Anita’s own personal Murtaugh, is also her mentor in the vampire-slaying biz. He is not, however, to be confused with Manny Santos, the often-misguided student of Degrassi Community School who was humiliated by Peter when he sent out a video of her drunken escapades at a party that one time.



10.3: Also of note about Manny?





13.1: At last, it is revealed: The most powerful voodoo priestess in the entire Midwest is, in fact…



Spider-Man’s kindly Aunt May?!

Well, I guess that does make sense, sort of. She’s had an unreasonably long life, and as we all learned from Empowered, the targets of deals with the devil can often end up with an great amount of power themselves. And with great power… well, you know where I’m going with this.


16.2: Wait, why is Aunt May making Anita play with chicken bones?


18.6: And why is she talking like Razor Ramon?


19.1 PROTIP: When you’re going to call something “indescribable”…



…don’t spend the paragraph before that describing it.

Just a thought.

34 thoughts on “The Annotated Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse #2

  1. Presumably voodoo is a big deal in Anita Blake’s world what with zombies, vampires, half-naked furries, and other nightmarish creatures wandering around.

    And yet they only have one priestess for several states?

    All admit that they might not have enough demand for Smallville, Kansas to have their own but that’s a huge area.

    Couldn’t she be like the Voodoo Archbishop of Des Moines instead?

  2. HAHAHAHA, YES! Quest of the Delta Knights!

    Well played, Mr. Simms.

    (also, Degrassi Rocks. Not so much this season though.)

  3. 6.6 Just like reading her blog. Scary.
    Tell your doctor right away if your symptoms get worse, Mr. Sims. There must be some medication that can get you through this.

  4. 6.6 Raising a murderous zombie was just one of the many things she could do, if she wanted to.

    Well, THERE’S a list that begs to be filled! How about put her feet behind her head while doing the Times cryptic crossword! Is that one of the many things she could do, if she wanted to?

  5. Wow. I thought my mind was blown when the vampire turned out to be a little girl, but now the voodoo priestess turns out to be an unassuming sweet old lady? It’s like nothing is what it seems in the world of Anita Blake! Outrageous!

  6. Aren’t there like fifteen books in this series? If this is the second twelve-issue series, why is it titled book one? Does Marvel have a thirty year plan for this?

  7. Remember kids, Hispanics are just really tanned white people. Also I figure Marvel will stop publishing the books around 4 or 5, whenever the hard-core sex starts up and well before it takes over the series…

  8. I was kind of hoping they’d keep going into the hardcore sex books, if only to see how they get Anita’s wereleopard boyfriend, whose humongously oversized penis Anita spends an entire chapter describing, onto the page without ending up in the adult section.

  9. I get my blog posts through Google Reader, and I read a lot of music blogs, so when I read this post’s title the first time, I thought it said “The Annotated Anita Baker: The Laughing Corpse,” and thought, “Damn, that’s harsh.”

    That is all.

  10. See, in Anita Blake’s world, voodoo has combined with Amway to make a kind of tree hierarchy. You got your low-level representatives (“You need any dead raised?”), who report to a regional manager, who reports to a city manager, who reports to a state manager, who reports to Aunt May, here.

    A side effect of the merger is that she’s able to sell you some really good carpet cleaner (“Hey, if your zombie has dripped unnameable fluids on the carpet…”).

  11. Re: Glowing noses and rosy complexions

    Maybe it’s just really cold in Anita Blake world. With all the undead walking around, most people probably heat their houses similar to meat lockers. Just to keep down on decomposition and smell, you know.

  12. Sorry about spreading the “SIMMS” effect around! You should see how they spell “TORTOLINI” in reviews… ;)

  13. Funny, I actually read the first two books of this series earlier this year, and while I can remember the basic outline of Guilty Pleasures, I seriously cannot remember a single goddamn thing that happened in Laughing Corpse besides the initial setup. The last thing I remember about the book is Manny confessing that he banged Dominga Salvador once, and then everything after that is just a huge blank.

    I think it climaxes in a graveyard? Again? Maybe Anita actually raises a zombie? I don’t know, I hauled these books out of a box of airplane novels and S&M erotica someone threw out in front of my college.

  14. I’m calling it right now: the zombie was raised by one of her local subcontractors. The story ends with a brutal confrontation between Anita Blake and the Board of Directors for United Voodoo Workers 263.

  15. No, I’ll buy “the entire Midwest”… if you can purchase pre-packaged, ready-to-reanimate zombies in the Wal-Mart freezer section.

    And this, in turn, has significant effects on:

    – US Agriculture (cheap help)
    – US Immigration (fewer employment opportunities)
    – Food prices

    Which results in:


  16. So, will the Canada region be covered by two or three voodoo priests/priestesses? (A third, French-speaking one for the Quebec area… ;-P)

  17. [i]Maybe it’s just really cold in Anita Blake world. With all the undead walking around, most people probably heat their houses similar to meat lockers. Just to keep down on decomposition and smell, you know[/i]

    But if it’s really cold, then how did the steering wheel get hot?

  18. My e-mail and my license plates were taken from Quest of the Delta Knights. I friggen’ love that movie.

    I think my favorite line is, “Travis. That’s a nice name. (Yeah, if you’re gay!)”

  19. I think you’re all missing the point, Chris descriped something as `awesome’! Awesome! We, those he reputably influences, should quit yammering and go buy this awesome product. Awesome!

  20. I think you’re all missing the point, Chris descriped something as `awesome’! Awesome! We, those he reputably influences, should quit yammering and go buy this awesome product. Awesome!”

    Well, ordinarily I would, but if he won’t even sign his own name to it I’m not buying it.

  21. Look, people, how hard it is to spell a man’s name? Honestly. Say it with me – it’s Chrissims. One word! Like Madonna or Darkseid.

  22. “When you’re going to call something “indescribable”…

    …don’t spend the paragraph before that describing it. ”

    Ah, but it was *almost* indescribable. In other words, it could only be described by a describer of awesome talent, like Laurell K. Hamilton.

  23. Is “descriping” a combination of describing and griping? Because if so, that’s pretty much what I do around here.

    Then that makes you… the DESCRIP-TOR!

    (Insert Kirbyesque shot of Sims surfing through the cosmos on a giant king’s scepter or something.)

  24. Yep, I think I’ve just developed a type of dyslexia more creative than I am (or I was typing upseid down). And I think Squeamish just discovered your new pen/wrestling/superhero name for sure.

  25. Double-barrel Aunt May & Empowered references for the win, sir. If May actually has one of those Sistah Spooky deals going, it would explain how she stays so thin, wouldn’t it? And won’t Mephisto be surprised?

    Also, that panel also appears to include Invincible’s dad, Omni-Man, or at least somebody with one of those signature Viltrumite mustaches. What’s up with that?

  26. I have bad news for y’all — as the series goes on, Hamilton spends more and more time trying to describe stuff that people can figure out for themselves with REALLY bad metaphors and similes.

    Examples: “gold like a piece of metal”
    a vampire slurping blood like “a sucking thing.”

    The indescribable gets described a LOT, and it’s really painful.

    Rock on, Chrissims the Descriptor. That sounds like a character from the Nightside.

  27. The books are potato chip books but I expected something a little less horrific than what these comics are turning out to be.