Writer: Tyler Burton Smith / Artist: Vanessa Cardinali / Image
Imagine waking up in a cold sweat from a terrible nightmare in which you are confronted with the sheer depravity of your own twisted soul that shakes you to the core. And then imagine that your nightmare is rooted in the waking reality as you find bloody, severed limbs in your fridge indicating your fugue state was not a delusion. Well, don’t worry about imagining, because Smith and Cardinali have written this so you don’t have to.
The opening interlude of Slumber #2 gives a brief refresher to what happened with Officer Finch at the end of last issue. As cartoonish as the comic style looks, Cardinali does not let you forget that this is a mature horror centric title, full of blood, bone, gore, and weird manifestations of the subconscious. The audaciousness of the pages is the kind of over the top black comedy that makes you laugh and then makes you wide-eyed at that fact you’re laughing as a visceral reaction.
Stetson’s main story starts off with a hard to please client and further looks into the trippy dreamscape and the sleep demons that inhabit it. We get our first bits of exposition into the shadowy figure that is at the center of the myth arc, and our two protagonists finally meet up and the blurred lines of the waking world and the sleeping ones begin to muddle in incredible ways. Smith’s handle of absurdist and dark comedy is fantastic and makes for many a riveting back and forth and all sort of segues and quips that help keep a brisk pace. Cardinali’s interpretation of the fantasy blended procedural is just pitch perfect in how it’s showcased.
Even though a lot of the violence happens in the brightly vivid dreamscape, there is still a sense of menace and mystery surrounding the shadowy woman that has brought Stetson and Finch together. Slumber #2 does fantastic at accelerating the plot and maintaining a sickly dark humor that manages to charm the reader. I’m convince that this comic isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those who have historically enjoyed characters like John Constantine or the antics of Invader Zim, with a stomach for the viscera, you’re going to have a grand time in the playground Smith and Cardinali have cultivated.
9.3 “Packed Fridges” out of 10
Enjoying Slumber? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.