cover image Be Kind, My Neighbor

Be Kind, My Neighbor

Yugo Limbo. Silver Sprocket, $39.99 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-1-945509-92-6

A genderqueer love story blooms within a chilling if often campy tale of small-town murder and the occult in animator and game designer Limbo’s loose, exuberant debut. Mr. Neighbor is a much-loved odd-jobber in the small town of Baths. He’s also made of cloth, a darling rag doll figure in a world of humans. Ever obliging, Neighbor takes in Wegg, a down-on-his-luck trans busker. Wegg suffers from a peculiar condition: his head rots “like an egg,” requiring him to “die” every 35 days, afterward recovering as before. Neighbor agrees to assist Wegg (“I will make it as pleasant as I can”), and discussion of the means of death sets off a sequence of fanciful visualizations that lurches into a tender moment. The pair’s developing intimacy, built on that remarkable trust, will be tested by a series of grisly local murders, occurring at monthly intervals. Despite numerous macabre turns, the story unfolds in folksy dialogue and cartoony, earth-toned artwork that verge on kitsch, but Limbo keeps in close correspondence with the references including The Wizard of Oz and Raggedy Ann Stories (precursors with similar quests for completion and selfhood). This scruffy but ambitious saga can wobble in sections, but it presses through as an insistent fever dream that grapples unflinchingly with the demands and constraints of the body. (Aug.)