Baby Demonica

 BABD   (Sirius, 2002)

™ and © Sirius

John John Jesse’s Baby Demonica is not a story, per se; it is an old-fashioned primer with nursery rhymes describing the ghoulish characters depicted within. While no one can fault Jesse’s imagination, the execution is for a select audience, to be sure.

Characters such as Narcotica, Evilwurm, and Davisha Darling might make for an interesting, tongue-in-cheek horror comic book, in which case, this issue might make a nice “Who’s Who.” As a stand-alone feature, it’s a one-joke wonder, and the joke wears thin pretty soon.

The rendering of the characters is thick and heavy, with less depth than one would like. If it looks as if it was inked with a rake, that’s more because of Jesse’s apparent desire to capture a “woodcut” feeling than of any lack of ability. (The front and back covers show us what he is capable of achieving.)

While most of the characters are simply horrific, a few are lewd, including several that take a swipe at Catholic clergy. (In his bio, Jesse describes himself as a “Catholic schoolboy turned Satanic porno art punk superstar.”)

The best reader for this is one who likes both erotic horror and old-fashioned nursery books — presumably a small overlap. But, despite its faux-juvenile theme, it is most definitely not for kids!

— Jack Abramowitz

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