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"Lenore is basically, the advertures of a cute little dead girl. She tackles everyday life with a perverted innocence that just makes you want to give her a big hug... and then stand back very quickly while checking to see if everything is still attached."
Creator Roman Dirge had always been told by his school teachers that his art style was too crude (and disturbing?) for him to ever become an artist, but that never stopped him from creating the Lenore cartoons for Xenophobe magazine.
Although he became immersed in his work as a magician, after he set himself on fire (which he pokes fun at in one of his 'Things Involving Me' cartoon strips) he went back to drawing and Lenore got a comic all of her own and published by Slave Labor Graphics (how cool a company name is that?!). Only 8 issues had been planned for the series, but saints be praised! We're getting more :)
LENORE The eponymous little 10 year old girl who adores animals, but can't seem to help injuring or killing them! One day, little Lenore got sick and died. And during her embalming, sat up to declare to the terrified mortician "JUST SLEEPING!" Lenore doesn't have that many friends as there tend to be... accidents. -- RAGAMUFFIN Once an eternal vampire scourge, a witch cursed him to take form of a doll after he ate her sister. A single drop of blood would return him back to his former self. While Lenore was trying to repair the owwie on his arm... she pricked herself with the needle... alas, due to the embalming fluid Ragamuffin did not resume his vampire form, but instead is condemned to staying a harmless doll forever. -- MR. GOSH Lenore's not-so-secret admirer. A strange fellow, with a fabric hood and buttons for eyes, is so obsessed with Lenore that he is constantly forgiving her for her attempts at murdering him. "The Lawnmower Incident" is one such case, where she ran over his head. 164 times. And no matter how many times she can bury him, he just keeps coming back! Now that's commitment. -- KITTY Lenore's favourite companion, who unfortunately is often on the receiving end of some rather fatal cuddles. -- TAXIDERMY Lenore's friendly neighbour, with a strange appearance he states is due to a medical condition. Owner of the bizarre Malakai, which terrorises Lenore in one adventure. --
THE CONCEPT / STORY / ADVENTURES
Lenore is such a little sweetheart. So what if a strange woman in the street plays 'got your nose!' with her and Lenore gets the wrong end of the stick ?
In the comics, of which there are 11 (12th is due in July 2005), Lenore's adventures are often the main feature, while other smaller cartoons make an appearance.
Such as creator Roman Dirge's 'Things Involving Me' strips, which are perhaps even more hilarious when we realise they are in some way based on true events that have happened to him. What a trooper!
Occasional contributions from his friend Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Invader Zim, also make the comics more fun and enjoyable and well worth the £2.25 per issue cost in Forbidden Planet (they retail in the USA at $2.95 and adjustments will be made for importing and profit making).
Alas, I am a terrible terrible fan and have not yet purchased comic #11 (Yes I should be shot), but for the time being I shall give a brief summary of the cartoon strips included in each issue. -- #1 features: "Lenore In Babysitting" - shows why Lenore should not be allowed near babies
"The Grandiose Adventures of "Timmy" The Happy Friendly Seeing Impaired Mouse" - I DEFY anyone not to find this hilarious
"Soilent Green" - where we find out that angels taste funny
"It's Magic" - why Lenore and Houdini type tricks really REALLY don't go together
#2 features: "Lenore In The Raven" - Edgar Allan Poe, eat your heart out. And we find out just how Lenore became the way she is.
"Lenore In Little Bunny Foo Foo" - Lenore, a bunny outfit, and a fairy who learns the hard way to be more specific.
"One Day Above The Highway" - think one bird shit on your car is bad? You ain't seen nothin' yet
"Babysitting 2: The Return Of Little Edward" - you'd think they would have learnt the first time round!
#3 features: "Lenore In Ragamuffin" - we meet Lenore's new friend, and learn what an ex- vampire scourge does with himself when he's trapped in the body of a doll
"Lenore In Georgie Porgie" - how the original should have been
"Lenore In Little Miss Muffet" - a spider? C'mon, that won't scare her! Mr. Rogers on the other hand...
"Mr. Puffy" - kitty jumps on window screen. Kitty is 20 floors up. Kitty discovers taxidermy!
#4 features: "The Return of Mr. Gosh" - If you love someone, set them free. If they return to you, put several 8 inch blades in their head. If they return again, then run... just run
"The Sing Along" - when a kid's party entertainer snaps!
"Leap Froggie" - we see why Lenore's friends don't last long
"A New Toy!!" - hamster fans may want to look away
#5 features: "Foo Foo 2" - how bunnies get caught in bear traps
"Frito The Demon" - how to trick your way into heaven with a beanie baby
"The Thing What Came From The Poopy Chair" - yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about
"Things Involving Me" - ahh the 'setting self on fire' incident. Always a classic.
#6 features: "Lenore In Queen Of The Fairy Gnomes" - you put on a fairy costume, you're mistaken for the Queen, hey it happens to the best of us
"A Moment Of Clarity" - just as Lenore realises where she is going wrong, she does something else wrong... oopsie
"Things Involving Me" - when 'having a drink for Frank' can go wrong...
"The Day Mr. Chippy Walked" - the trauma of having no butt, and then getting the legs of a hottie
#7 features: "The Dream Catcher" - when evil nightmare maker monster impersonates the tooth fairy, much to neighbour Billy's distress
"Buggie Zap" - how curiosity can BURN!
"Things Involving Me" - best quote ever perhaps: 'cigarette + eye = bad'
"Medical Miracles" - speaking out on behalf of the little guys. That's right, the lab mice
#8 features: "Bloaty The Frog" - will chicken soup work on a sick little froggie?
"Things Involving Me" - hot girl + worst possible timing = hilarity
"The Last Dance Of The Ladybug" - you must FEAR the ladybug! Respect every insect / inverta-whatever
(no title) - 'Every once and awhile, the angels create a being of perfection. A creature of pure charm and class. A person of grace and...' BLEHHHHHHHH
#9 features: "The Re-Animated" - Lenore is brought back, but certain people are determined she be returned, bringing us to the quote 'I seek the blonde girl child.. GIMME!'
"Things Involving Me" - a tale involving an EVIL urinal
"Pop Goes The Weasel" - for the love of God, don't say the rhyme! RUN MONKEY!
#10 features: (no title) - the mousies seek revenge, poor Ragamuffin gets in the way. But who is this mysterious Lenore look a likey?
"The Ghost And The Snake" - how a lonely little snake found it's place
Roman Dirge is an extremely talented artist, and it should be noted that I am really not a comic book kinda person, but this guy has gotten me hooked on his creation as well as his other works.
He is also responsible for: "Something At The Window Is Scratching" - Children's tales for disturbed children, with a foreword from Jhonen Vasquez explaining why children are criminally insane and must be destroyed
"The Monsters In My Tummy" - who knew a cute monster book could convey such pain and heartache? Has the best dedication I have ever read: 'I hope your life is filled with wonderful accomplishments, love and all the magic you desire... but I hope your death is slow and horrible.'
and "The Cat With The REALLY Big Head" - as suggested, it's a kitty with a big head.
Yes, all of which I do own and will readily recommend as well.
If you've got a slightly morbid sense of humour of if you have a sense of humour at all then I honestly believe you will enjoy the adventures of Lenore.
-- Official website: www.spookyland.com
site with flash movies of 26 adventures: http://www.nightrose.com/lenore.htm