Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: BUBBA HO-TEP and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #3


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Joshua Jabcuga (based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale) – @jabcuga @joelansdale
ART: Tadd Galusha – @TaddGalusha
COLORS: Ryan Hill
LETTERS: Tom B. Long
EDITOR: Joe Hughes
COVER: Baldemar Rivas
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Baldemar Rivas; Tadd Galusha
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2018)

There is a kind of flavorful, pop culture horror, a “McHorror,” if you will, like the tasty treats that are tricks from McDonald's.  In McHorror, pluck, grit, and a few Latin phrases will banish the fiercest denizens of Hades.  An example of this is The Conjuring scary movie franchise.  Then, there is another kind of horror storytelling.  In this horror, pithy quotes and declarations from the sacred texts and languages of Western religious faith cannot and will not stop two serial killers from enjoying Friday night cadaver poon at the local drive-in.

The latter is exemplified by author Joe R. Lansdale, whose bibliography is a journey through the dark corpus of America – from the rooter to the tooter.  IDW Publishing's current comic book miniseries, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers, is adapted from a 2017 novel by Lansdale.  That novel is a prequel to a Lansdale novella, “Bubba Ho-Tep” (which was adapted into film by another purveyor of non-McHorror storytelling, Don Coscarelli).

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers the comic book is adapted by writer Joshua Jabcuga; drawn by Tadd Galusha; colored by Ryan Hill; and lettered by Tom B. Long, with covers drawn by Baldemar Rivas.  The comic book follows a fictional version of legendary rock 'n' roll singer and performer, and American icon, Elvis Presley.  The King of Rock 'n' Roll works for a secret government organization (which might by named the “Hidden Agenda”).  Elvis' manager, “The Colonel” (based on the real-world Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker), is his handler, as Presley and a team of operatives fight supernatural threats to the world

As Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #3 opens, Elvis and company remain secure in an abandoned plantation manor protected by the craziest barriers, spells, and wards.  The team awaits an attack while Elvis gets his ashes hauled by some fine-ass spectral bouté, who will lend her powers to the cause.  An attack will come, but nothing about it will be what it appears to be.  And Elvis might have to fight the invaders while in a state of butt-ass nakedness!

I gave the first two issues of Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers each a glowing review.  I love this comic book, and IDW can't get new issues to me fast enough to sate my outer-dimensional-vampire-like blood lust for it.  I was not going to review this third issue, but Tadd Galusha's art and storytelling is just too outrageous to ignore.

I enjoy Joe R. Lansdale's writing, and I am clearly enjoying Joshua Jabcuga's adaptation of Lansdale here.  As comic books rely on illustrations to tell much of the story, I have to notice artist Tadd Galusha.  He has to deliver, and he does in a way that matches the wildness and weirdness of the source and its adaptation.  Galusha impressive drawings include a naked, ghostly broad; a multi-headed thing connected to an oil slick-like monstrosity; and an army of the dead to rival Army of the Dead.  All of it is visually and graphically striking, obviously, but it exists to tell the story, which it truly does.  And well, Galusha draws an impressive naked Elvis.

Ryan Hill colors Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers as if he is battling for his place in the hoary American comic book horror hall of fame.  He uses shades of orange, brown, blue, and green to create horror comic porn, and I'm aroused.

As Tom B. Long's spot-on lettering and fonts chase me with the simulated sound effects of funky phantom invasion, I await more.  And I wonder... what Mr. Lansdale might imagine Elvis doing off-camera when not racing cars in Viva Las Vegas.

10 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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