Blood & Gourd #1
Writer: Jenz K. Lund & D.H. Shultis
Pencils: Dave Acosta
Inks: Juan Albarran
Colors: Fran Gamboa
Cover: Juan Antonio Ramirez
Letters: JC Ruiz & Jessica Jimerson
The indie comic book gods celebrate as once again a new publisher has found it's way into the public eye! Dead Peasant is a company formed via crowd funding and Blood & Gourd is their premiere comic! Jenz K. Lund of the Two Headed Podcast writes this grand entrance for Dead Peasant alongside D.H. Shultis, who has written the bold work, American Scum. The premiere is further improved by the vibrant, campy, gory and vivid illustrations of Dave Acosta. This team, coming completely out of left, has created a hell of a fun story that mixes the lunacy and charm of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with the mythology of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
This story takes place on October 30th at Henderson Farms, home to the 47th Annual "Ain't that Something" Pumpkin Contest. Families and friends are gathering from all around to have some fall fun with facepainting, picking out pumpkins, games, the whole nine yards. Once the winner of the contest is announced things escalate quickly, as the very pumpkins that everyone is there to celebrate begin to attack! What do these pumpkins do exactly? They EAT PEOPLE... sort of, you'll see. Why are the pumpkins so abnormal? Who is behind all of this? Pick it up and find out!
The writing team takes this very interesting approach to the characters. Most of the attendants and workers at the Pumpkin Contest are given distinct personalities and seem like they are important to a plot or sub plot. However, as the story progresses it is abundantly clear that no one is safe, regardless of whatever they may have been in the middle of. This adds to the shock value in a big way, as the reader begins to feel like growing too attached to any one character is unsafe. There is also something to be said for the hometown, good 'ol boys dialogue that everyone uses before catastrophe hits. This gives even more contrast within the issue as things go down hill. This book gives you likeable characters and then takes them away, but not before you feel something for them, making for a unique surprising (and morbidly fun) comic experience.
The unsuspecting farm in this story is met with some striking visuals by the whole artistic team. There are a couple of things that make this horror comic different than the rest. For example, this story takes place during the day, which isn't typically how it's done. By making it take place during the day this story was able to feel much more true to it's somewhat light hearted B-movie roots, whereas if it were at night it would have a totally different, more serious feel. Instead, the background gets darker as the story goes on but keeps the time of day consistent. The backgrounds of the farmland seem natural and feel familiar to the reader, while the pumpkin creatures, in all forms, add a touch of menace to the landscape. The sheer volume of pumpkins at this get together makes for a feeling of hopelessness for these characters. For real, the things are everywhere! The character models wear common, somewhat non descript outfits, however each of those is specifically catered to the person wearing it (if that makes sense). In other words, the characters look natural, with an intentional exception or two. All in all, this art is used in perfect symmetry with the dialogue for a consistently out of the box, well paced read.
This is what it's all about gang! This team had a story in mind, and with some dedication (and a little crowd funding) we arrive at the over the top and enjoyable Blood & Gourd #1. It takes a lot of ambition to start an imprint from scratch and when I see this as a fan of the medium, I feel proud of all of those involved. If you would like to check out this original story, head over to the website at http://www.deadpeasant.net/ where you can see more on the team and preorder the super sized issue (being shipped this month). As always, thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to check out this awesome project.