COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE LIFE OF NORMAN VOL. 1 / AUTHOR: STAN SILAS / ARTWORK: STAN SILAS / PUBLISHER: TITAN COMICS / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 31ST
Norman is not your average horror movie-loving little boy with the devil on his shoulder. For a start, the devil on his shoulder is very real – albeit pretty cute, like a miniature floating Pokemon – and Norman, who lives in a remote house that’s a dead-ringer for the Psycho mansion, likes to put what he learned in the horror movies to good use. When we first meet him he’s wearing a Jason Voorhees hockey mask, wielding a carving knife and preparing to carve up a school kid who has unsuspectingly arrived at Norman’s house preparing to scam whoever lives here into buying his supply of raffle tickets. Yep, the kid deserves to die but his slaughter is only the start of a hilariously impressive body count.
And yet Norman’s not the only character with issues. Wait until you meet his teacher, a sadistic (and pretty hot) red-haired alcoholic who patently hates kids and has an unrequited crush on one of their fathers. When that father’s prissy daughter becomes another of Norman’s victims, the teacher sees a way in to his affections. How that idea plays out, and intersects with Norman’s killing spree, is hilarious.
But the other kids in Norman’s class are pretty switched on as well and when they organise a séance to find out who killed their classmates, and the spirit says one of them did it, Norman has to think fast to break things up and get himself out of trouble. Although when he leaves one of his victim’s body parts in the sand pit that’s probably not the smartest move he ever made.
I can’t say enough good things about Norman. It’s beautifully drawn, it’s very, very funny, and writer/artist Stan Silas isn’t stingy with the gore either. Ever wanted to watch a bunch of little kids who are cuter than Schulz’s Peanuts gang get sliced and diced, including taking a carving knife straight in the face? Then you’ve come to the right place. Ever wanted to know what happens when you die and go to heaven only to find out you’re not on the new arrivals list? Read Norman and you’ll find out. And what do you do when one of your victims seemingly comes back from the dead, presumably to spill the beans on who killed her? Norman will answer that question as well, and you won’t be prepared for what happens next. Not to mention all the very cool horror movie references (check out the Exorcist panel when Norman’s teacher goes to her date’s house. Very nice work.)
Norman is the horror comic I’ve been waiting for all my life. It is absolute genius and, quite literally, bloody good fun. Stalk and slash your way to the bookstore now, before this is eviscerated off the shelves.