Twisted: Tales to Rot Your Brain, Vol. 1
In "Garlic Toast," one of nearly 30 brief works of "flash fiction" in this collection of dark comedy and horror, the main character is brutally attacked and chased by a monster, before awakening in bed from a nightmare. "You wipe the sweat from your forehead.... You close your eyes and smile. You hope the next one is just as good." That type of kid—the one who revels in being terrified—is the audience first-time author Thompson is aiming for. In stories that last only a few pages and comics that resemble Nickelodeon cartoons on acid, Thompson riffs on zombie, werewolf, and other ghoulish genres, while also finding the horrific in unexpected places. In "Testophobia," a test-taker's increasingly anxious thoughts are superimposed over a blurred-out exam below ("Hemophobia: Fear of blood. Won't wipe off. On fingers. On sleeve, paper. Smeared. Trembling. Shaky. Shaking"). And in a cartoon labeled "Lobotomy Pie," a freshly baked pumpkin pie cools on a counter, while a jack o'lantern sits mutilated in the foreground. Just the thing for readers who aren't scared of the dark—or for those who are and like it. Ages 12–up.