Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Read - Fear My Dear by Dean Haspiel

Today I will take a quick look at Fear My Dear, a Billy Dogma Experience by Dean Haspiel. I say quick look because Billy Dogma is one of my favorite comic characters. I seem to remember my first encounter with the Billy Dogma being in a mini-comic that I some how acquired, probably through mail order, back in 1996.

Back then, Billy’s stories were short 8 pager, which dealt with romance, love and the silliness (for lack of a better term) of the real world. Fear My Dear is essentially the same thing, just more grown up. Which make perfect sense Billy himself has grown up and looks to be in his 40’s or 50’s in the Fear My Dear stories. The length of the stories have also changed also from 8 pagers to 30+.

But what hasn’t changed is Dean wonderful and insightful storytelling. His views on romance/love are touching and heart breaking. The dialog between Billy Dogma and his girlfriend Jane Legit is a little campy at times but fits the characters perfectly and reminds me of those goofy sweet nothing I say to my wife.

Haspiel is a master storyteller. He utilizes the 4 panel grid to perfection in these stories. Keeping the storyline and action constantly moving, yet still including some quiet reflective moments for both the reader and the characters. At one point in the story Billy is alone by himself minus Jane and the story switches from 3 colors (Black, White and Red) to 2 colors (Black and White) to show the absence of Jane in Billy’s life, “Pure Genius!” I say.

Fear My Dear consists of 2 stories. The first is Immortal, where Billy and Jane face down a monster set on destroying love. The second is Fear My Dear where Billy realizes he has discovered the 8th deadly sin ‘Love’ and comes face to face with his hero Tommy Rocket only to find out that they share some common history.

Overall, Fear my Dear by Dean Haspiel is an excellent comic and well worth the price of admission.
Fear My Dear is one of the first books published by Z2 Comics. I hope this book sells boatloads and we get to see more Billy Dogma on a regular basis. Also if you enjoy this book, there is another older Billy Dogma collection, Daydream Lullabies is well worth hunting down.

-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.

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