No Romance in Hell by Hyena Hell is a comic book zine given to me by a comrade-friend. I usually don’t like comic books that much, but this one knocked my socks off. So I review it, in hopes you will enjoy the review and consider finding it, to read it too.
The subject matter is appealing–green demon lady gets fed up with the demon she has a crush on. She leaves hell and tries dating on earth.
“Outsider trying to understand culture of humans” is definitely a common trope. But it’s well done here. Every time I think it’s going to descend into offensive or overly cliche, there’s a fresh twist.
I like the gender play, the nudity, smart cultural analysis. The violence is cartoonish and not bad. I could relate to the demon, a lot.
No way did I open this zine, thinking I would find a character I could relate to. I too am frustrated with red tape, how humans relate, cell phone contracts. This zine made me think about home, how we communicate, and how connections between people (or demons) really form. I have questions and feelings about the ending–does sex / relationship really work that way?
Also, there’s a meta aspect that I enjoy, when the main character is reading a comic book, and when she goes into a comic book store. She gets frustrated with that too, how what she sees in comic books doesn’t match the reality she sees in the world. It’s a funny moment.
I was impressed by the whole thing–ideas, art, format, pace, humor, level of challenge to the reader. Asked Ming to read it, but he hasn’t yet.
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