What a week it’s been for comics!
Not only did my own comic, Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N., make its print debut at this year’s Small Press Expo, but we also saw the release of the final issue of Laurenn J. Framingham’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse: Book 2: Necromancer!
Of course, this is assuming that you’re operating in a world where the word “final” means that there’s going to be yet another five-issue mini-series before we’re done with the same damn story, which itself represents less than 6% of the Anita Blake series entire. Which apparently we are.
But the ISB Research Department isn’t here to nitpick! We’re here to… well, I guess we are here to nitpick, but we assure you that it is for the highly scholarly purpose of exploring the many “fascinating” mysteries of the series!
Grab a copy of your own and follow along!
1.1: And it begins.
This is the very first panel of this issue of Anita Blake, and already we are faced with problems. Let’s take a closer look at that caption, shall we?
And now let’s have one more look at the art of the exact same panel which I assume will have Anita with her forehead “against the cool linoleum of the floor,” just as it says in the caption, which–again–is in the exact same panel.
Yep. It’s gonna be one of those issues, folks.
1.2: All told, I’ve been annotating the Anita Blake books since 2006. That is literally years of my life spent reading this book. Normally, this thought would be depressing enough to paralyze me in bed with an intravenous drip of Jack and Coke, but as the author is quick to point out…
…it is not a book about Anita Blake vomiting on corpses.
2.5: Apparently the muder that Anita has spent the last two pages not investigating could’ve been prevented by a nieghbor, who, thinking it was a domestic dispute, chose not to get involved.
The irony of Anita Blake lamenting that someone else did not take action is staggering.
5.3: My only exposure to the universe of Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter is the comics, but apparently one of the key selling points of the setting is the way that supernatural creatures like vampires are treated in a more realistic fashion as it relates to the law. Which means that the only thing more frustrating than this scene, where the idea of a group of armed men chasing down a killer zombie is reduced to a procedural that occurs off-panel, is that there are actually people who think that’s a good thing.
7.1: Despite the fact that it’s actually just the middle third of a story that’s being stretched like salt water taffy, the number on the cover of this issue says “Vampire Hunter” and “5 of 5,” and it should, by all rights, be the action-packed climax of a story where at least one vampire is hunted.
Anita and Dolph have been talking in a goddamn bathroom for seven pages. At least it looks like the colorist is having a fun game of Tetris in the background.
8.3: Finally, a scene change with some potential!
Anita has brought another animator, John Burke, to the city morgue and I’ve got to admit, a morgue in a world of zombies and vampires that has machine-guns mounted on the wall to prevent a mass breakout is actually a pretty good idea. In fact, I’d venture to say that it fills me with hope for the rest of the book, because there’s no possible way that a story about corpses rising from the dead could have a scene where two people whose entire function is to raise people from the dead (including one for whom this is a primary source of income) could go to a place where there are a bunch of dead bodies and not get into some trouble, right? There’s no way this could possibly turn into thirteen more pages of investigation so boring it makes Matlock look intense, right? Right?
9.1: Son of a bitch.
10.5: Soulpatch aside, the man’s got a point.
Save your breath, Johnny. I’ve been saying that for three years now and they just don’t listen.
11.5: At this point, this story–which, remember, could have been about lost zombie pirate treasure–is now revolving entirely around a charm bracelet.
Also of note: Anita Blake, who uses a machete to slit the throats of chickens so that she can resurrect the dead, is apparently only casually into voodoo.
12.5: And now, my favorite panel in the entire series thus far:
How borrow indeed, Anita. How borrow indeed.
21.1: And nine pages later, after a medical examination that could’ve passed as the most boring episode of Quincy ever filmed, Anita and Severus Soulpatch up there finally leave the morgue so that they can go back to Aunt May’s house, presumably for wheatcakes:
And that is where this–which I remind you is the last issue of a mini-series–ends: With the heroine threatening an old woman in front of her grandchildren.
You stay classy, Anita Blake.