Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gloom Cookie Vol. 1 Review

Gloom Cookie Vol. 1
Slave Labor Graphics
Softcover Trade Paperback
240 pages
$18.95 (2001)
ISBN 9780943151342

Contributors: Serena Valentino, Ted Naifeh, Tristan Crane, Nikki Coffman, Eric Russell, and foreword by Caitlin Kiernan

Reprints: Gloom Cookie #1-6

Synopsis: Lex is a good goth girl - she dresses up in her best clothes and goes to the club every night to find her soulmate.  Unfortunately, she thinks her soulmate is Max, who is basically using her as a doormat (and wears a dress) while he searches for his own soulmate. 

The club is filled with all sorts of interesting goth people and we get to see them fumble through social situations.  Some of them are not entirely what they seem and harbor deep, dark secrets.
  • Lex - adorable goth clubgoer looking for love in all the wrong places - specifically Max
  • Max - Lex's lover who is looking for love in all the wrong places while stringing Lex along
  • Sebastian - handsome young man with a secret - there's a monster living under his bed
  • Chrys - spunky girl with eyes for Sebastian, she's friends with Lex has a secret of her own
  • Isabella - she's the reigning queen of the club and everyone is her follower, Damion is part of her clique, manipulative and evil
  • Damion - Isabella's confidante and a brooding soul
  • Carnival Macabre - a bizarre carnival filled with freaks who have formed a semblance of a family
Pros: Great representation of the goth scene during the late '90s, incredibly accurate characterizations, nice art by Naifeh (deceptively simple), got some major street cred from other creators including Neil Gaiman, good balance of story with humorous asides, lots of neat extras
Cons: Black and white, everyone has pointy little claw/fingers, there were several typos - especially using 'your' instead of 'you're'

Mike Tells It Straight: If you've ever painted your nails black, were an avid Nine Inch Nails listener, or hung out at the coffee shop then Gloom Cookie will bring you back to the dark, angst-ridden days of misguided youth.  Serena Valentino's portrayal of the goth scene is so accurate it's more appropriate to call it an anthropological study than a comic book.  I was apprehensive to read an SLG goth comic based on some of their other one-note, strip-style comics (like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squeee!, or Milk and Cheese), but was pleasantly surprised at the characterization and pacing.  It's a great portrayal of various goth archetypes from the club scene (Vermillion is the funniest) with a fairy tale undercurrent, and has a story!  Take a trip down the darkling lane of nostalgia with Gloom Cookie!

TO BUY and Recommendations: