We are suckers for beautiful looking creepy things over at Starburst Magazine, as our very own editorial mascot, Zak the Zombaby, will attest. Tania del Rio and Will Staehle’s Warren the 13th books combine an American Gothic aesthetic with comedic fun to create something rather different.
This bright green hardback book is filled with gorgeously ghastly illustrations, in the style of The Addams Family, the Gashlycrumb Tinies or even Duckula. It’s a lovely looking thing that draws the eye, but also is creepy and funny…Like the best kind of Halloween decoration.
The tale itself is an equal to the art. Warren is a troll like twelve-year-old hero determined to do his duty as the world’s strangest sort of Boy Scout and hotel attendant. His job is to look after the guests in a walking hotel. Alas, the spidery legs have become damaged and the whole thing lists to one side; the guests are more than a little disgruntled. To solve the problem, Warren must go on an adventure.
There are witches to befuddle, salesmen to avoid, weird friends with stranger secrets and monsters to befriend along the way. Of course it’s not that easy; there’s plenty of tricks and traps along the way, including a doppelgänger. Poor old Warren will never have it easy.
It’s a children’s story for those with slightly mopey children, though it’s also the sort of book that will delight the young at heart everywhere. There’s a word used in various Internet memes: ‘Spoopy’. It means comical and spooky at the same time, and it’s perfect description of Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods. It’s a spoopy sort of book.
This is the second book in a series (the first one was drenched in red) and though there are ongoing story arcs present, you really don’t need to have read the last book to enjoy this one. Perfect for the little vampire in the family.
WARREN THE 13TH AND THE WHISPERING WOODS (WARREN THE 13TH #2) / AUTHORS: TANIA DEL RIO AND WILL STAEHLE / PUBLISHER: QUIRK BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW