Finally, at long last, the fifteen-issue adaptation of Laurenn J. Framingham’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse has come to an end!
Well, if you want to get technical, it actually ended about three weeks ago, and while you’d think I would’ve been in a hurry to get this thing over with, the fact that they’ve already solicited the first issue of the next adaptation, Circus of the Damned (in which I assume Anita goes undercover as a healthy-thighed Jugalette) has once again recast my efforts as
a round of Sisyphean masochism an academic pursuit that continues to take a little longer than I’d hoped.
But no matter! Much like The Goonies, your humble annotator never says die! So grab a copy of your own and follow along as we delve for the final time into the academic mysteries of The Laughing Corpse!
1.1: When we last left Anita, she had shocked the world by actually doing something for what pretty much amounted to the second time in three years. Specifically, she straight-up murdered two dudes with a machete, which has taken us one step closer to my dream project of an Anita Blake movie starring Danny Trejo.
When this issue picks back up, we’re witnessing the aftermath of Anita’s double-homicide…
…specifically her enjoyment of the thrill that comes from ending a human life that she was never able to feel no matter how many animals she killed in the past. That’s our heroine, folks: Pretty much just quoting the Charles Manson playbook.
2.2: You know, in the midst of all this action involving Anita actually doing her job (albeit not the one where she hunts vampires like it says on the cover), which is actually coming on a level that we’ve never once seen from the Anita Blake comics…
…it’s nice that Framingham still takes the time to make sure we get a wordy, awkward DungeonMaster’s Guide explanation of what necromancy is. Even more amazing: The fact that it’s actually necessary to explain it at this point.
3.1: You know, while it’s nice that Anita’s finally using her super-powers to raise the dead after a whopping thirty-one issues of talking about it, I’ve gotta say that this incantation she drops is a little pedestrian:
“Arise and serve me?” C’mon, Laurenn, magic words aren’t supposed to be someone shouting their exact-literal intent! At least throw in some faux-Latin and a flick-and-swish, or–better yet–let me have a crack at punching this one up:
And you thought I was going to go with a hip-hop reference.
3.3-3.4: I think it’s worth noting here that when Anita, who allegedly raises the dead for a living, performs a double-human sacrifice and shouts “ARISE AND SERVE ME”…
…Aunt May, who is herself a necromanceress of some renown and made an Octofrankenstein last issue–needs this explained to her. Seriously, I know I’ve been critical of Anita’s powers of observation (or lack thereof) in the past, but considering that everyone else in this book is dumb as a bag of hammers, I’m starting to think she might just be the smartest one by default.
4/5: Okay, your humble annotator has to admit: Despite taking over three years of publication to actually get around to happening,l the fact that Anita uses her super-powers to raise a hundred zombies at once and send them to get revenge by ripping her enemies limb from limb? That’s actually pretty… awesome.
Sorry, it took me a minute to remember that word, as I don’t think I’ve ever used it while writing one of these articles before.
6.2-6.3: Of course, the fact that she does all this in order to murder a septuagenarian who looks like she spends her time making wheatcakes and reminding Peter to stay away from that awful Spider-Man does taint the moral victory a little (even if it results in a truly great last
…but like my mama always said, there’s no kill like overkill.
8.5: Also meeting his untimely end in this issue: Harold “The Big Lebowski” Gaynor, which brings an end to his plot and allows us to finally answer the question I’m sure someone on the Internet has been desperately asking: Would The Big Sleep be better if it had zombies?
Answer: No. No it would not.
10.3-10.4: You know, with as thrilling as it is for Anita to resurrect an entire graveyard’s worth of zuvembies and unleash them on those who have wronged her, I think there’s something pretty appropriate to the way she ends up dealing with them once they’ve outlived their usefulness:
By talking them to sleep, much like she’s been doing to me for the past three years.
Still, this issue’s been a major turning point for the series: Not only does Anita double-cross her captors and mete out harsh, deadly justice in a very proactive way, she also resists a supporting character’s urge to stop, outright rejecting the idea of doing nothing for the first time in the entire series. This is the Anita that we’ve been promised since Day One, the badass that’s finally living up to 31 issues of blowhard hype. This is actually a character I wouldn’t mind reading about, and shockingly, I’m starting to think that there’s nothing about her left to make fun of.
Okay, well. Maybe there’s still something to make fun of.
And considering that the rest of the issue is epilogue stuff that I can’t be bothered to care about because a lot of it hasn’t been mentioned since the Bush administration, that about wraps it all up. Although this issue does give me the opportunity to say something I’ve been waiting quite a while to drop on Anita:
Shhhhhhhhhhh… just you shut your mouth.
She uses the blood of two freshly killed villains dripping off her machete to summon the undead to kill a necromancer…
Who is she and what has she done with Anita Blake?
I love you annotating Anita Blake and never want it to end.
This is probably the best recurring feature you have on the ISB. I’m glad that there are enough books in the series to make sure that you’ll be able to keep annotating Anita Blake until the end of time.
Thanks for the laughs!
*Puts head in hands* Man…things happened here. It just didn’t feel like The Annotated Anita Blake.
Naturally, it ruled. But, man, there was PLOT-FORWARDING ACTION. What was that???
I seriously look forward to the Annotated Anita Blake :D
You didn’t mention the best part! That the vampire didn’t show til after the zombies were gone so she couldn’t ‘accidentally’ kill him with them–and that she considered it. :)
Sadly, it’s all downhill from here, characterization-wise. Anita IS on a character arc, but it’s from The EXECUTIONER, SIDEKICK OF DEATH, to Anita the Vampire Slut. Which is pretty much the opposite to the normal way these things would go, with the character learning about vampires and how to be a badass killer of them.
I thought you un-animated zombies with the Stygian phrase:
“OK, we’re done here, I think.”
Maybe that’s just in Fargo, though.
I do a little happy dance in my desk chair when I see these annotations come up in Google Reader. No kidding. It’s the same little happy dance I’d do whenever I’d see you announce Chris vs. Twilight on Twitter. It’s my schadenfreude dance.
PS Just a note: Danny Trejo and Dolph Lundgren will be starring in this summer’s blockbuster film, The Expendables.
That is all.
You think you’ll get out of Anitotating that easily? We’re going to keep commenting, and you’re going to keep reading, and because time flows differently for those actually enduring that dialogue you’ll die of old age before Iron Man 3.
I forget everything that happened from the last time Anita Blake, so when there is a new one, I get to experience it with a fresh perspective. Not remembering what has happened before is something of a bonus when nothing ever happens.
This time, it may not have come in handy.
Ah, Chris. Between this and The Worst of Netflix, I am in awe of your ability to suffer for both your art and our entertainment. You’re a good man, Chris Sims.
Also, if you’re interested in seeing Danny Trejo onscreen, you may be happy to know that the fake trailer he was in from Grindhouse, Machete, is now getting made into a real movie.
Its been awhile since I read it, but I think “Circus of the Damned” has a giant snake vs. werewolves fight in it. And introduces Richard the World’s Whiniest Werewolf. It might also be the one where Edward brings a flamethrower to a vampire duel…
You avoided an Altered Beast reference, and for that, I salute you!
Time for more Tarot!
The pics of that ridiculous vampire never fail to make me laugh until I vomit. If I had to draw something like that for a living, my ass would get canned. I would just bust out laughing and never be able to finish the damned thing.
Now now, it takes a special kind of awfulness to rival Edward Cullen for “Most Uselessly Unscary Vampire EVER.”
…what is that down the front of the vampires dudes pants?
*peers closely at vampires’ crotch*
Kinda looks like he stuffed a tampon down the front of his pants. Most men use socks.
You know, I was reading an Amazon review of Obsidian Butterfly, an Anita Blake book that goes on for 300 pages more than it needs to, and the reviewer mentioned that if the books were comics they’d be absolutely no action and huge bubbles filled with the characters thoughts on every page. I immediately thought of your annotating Chris. : )
In my opinion the books are bad, but these comics are an example of why you don’t cross books and comics. They don’t meld well.