cover image The Complete Love Hurts

The Complete Love Hurts

Kim W. Anderson. Dark Horse, $19.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61655-859-8

Serialized in Scandinavia and featured in Dark Horse Presents, Anderson's gruesome romance comics closely resemble 2000 A.D.'s Future Shocks: short, gut-punch tales that alternately delight and horrify. While the initial two-page shorts lack much subtlety or technical skill, as the collection progresses, Anderson's development as both an artist and writer is evident. Comparing the tropes parodied in #4 and #30 shows this; the former bluntly jabs at slasher cliches in the manner of Scream, while the latter both echoes and builds on Stephen King's Carrie and supervillain origin stories. Anderson saves the best for last: in #31 he expands the length and scope of his stories to include psychological horror and classic space fantasy. While Anderson proves he's imaginative and versatile in his artwork, his writing is less so. Still, his work is nonetheless entertaining and makes a great read on Halloween and Valentine's Day alike. (Nov.)