Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Possessions, Book One: Unclean Getaway by Ray Fawkes
"Gurgazon likes to vomit, cackle, and make things DIE!"
Ahhh, book serendipity. Even though I spend untold hours obsessively reading book reviews, some things still manage to slip past my radar. Like Unclean Getaway by graphic novel writer Ray Fawkes. But one day last week it arrived in our branch, all new and shiny, and after one look I just knew I had to take it home to Ewan. And when we sat down to read it, we laughed so hard that everyone else in the house wandered in to see what we were up to. After it was done, Ewan asked plaintively, "Do we have to take Gurgazon back to the library?". He's never said that about any book before, ever. But he's right. This one's a keeper.
Gurgazon the Unclean is a pit demon embodied as a little girl who looks a bit like a possessed muppet. She has rows of razor-sharp teeth and an unfortunate propensity for green vomit, but when her mouth is shut, she's pretty cute. As the story begins, she is captured and brought to live in the Llewellyn-Vane House for Captured Spirits and Ghostly Curiosities. While the other supernatural inhabitants (including a headless lady ghost, a poltergeist, a haunted juke box and something called the "Ice Field Lights") appear pleasantly domesticated, Gurgazon the Unclean will not be bound. She is unholdable! TREMBLE before Gurgazon! SHUDDER at Gurgazon's unholy power! Gurgazon will have her REVENGE on the world!!!!
Or maybe not.
Unclean Getaway is the chronicle of Gurgazon's increasingly frustrated attempts to escape. But the plot is a minor note. The real pleasure in Gurgazon's story is the perfectly-timed deadpan humour, from the wacky send-up of horror conventions to the way the characters all play off Gurgazon. Ewan and I especially loved Polly, the impulsive, emotional poltergeist who communicates by scrawling on the wall. She tantrums and sulks hilariously when Gurgazon rejects her offer of friendship. The Light is pretty funny as well, with his reasonableness and civility a great counterpoint to Gurgazon's raging fits.
Gurgazon: "Gurgazon will open a hell pit right here and DEVOUR you ALL!"
Light: "Listen. We're having a pretty good time carving pumpkins over there. Why not come and join us?"
Ray Fawkes gives an interesting interview about the world of Possessions here.
But remember..."Gurgazon is not entertainment! Gurgazon is your DOOM!".