It was a pleasant surprise to discover that one of the books I was looking forward to from First Second was by the creator of Bookhunter. Having already read and reviewed one of Jason Shiga’s previous works this week alone, I was extremely happy when Demon arrived on my doorstep. And while yes, I’m probably late to the “isn’t Jason Shiga great?” party, I can only assume others are too. I’ve seen a lot articles and quotes on the internet describe Demon as dark and morbid. I think it really depends on how dark and morbid you are. For me, none of this was that dark and its amazing how Shiga manages to distract you from all that or really how he manages to make it feel normal within the story. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re just the average superhero reading comic reader then ya… this is going to blow your mind. But if you read Demon and listen to our podcast, then you’ll know that calculating the amount of time to make yourself cum so that you can make a cum knife… well, it’s funny as hell, but not shocking to someone who spews vulgarities on the regular. That isn’t to take away from the work at all. I just found things normal people would find shocking or disturbing to be quite hilarious. As "dark" as this book is, it's was just extremely funny to me.
Basically I’m not going to tell you anything about the story. Demon is plotted extremely well. It’s clear after about ten pages that Shiga knows exactly what he’s doing and how long this story will be. If you doubt that, then read the foreword because he tells you exactly how long it will be. Which is rare with something that’s a webcomic which is where Demon got its start before being picked up by First Second.
I probably read the book within twenty minutes. It’s a pretty quick read, but that aside, I was just addicted to story. Knowing that there’s more and that I could flip through the webcomic is extremely tempting, but I really enjoyed reading it in the graphic novel format. I enjoyed knowing how much of it I had to read and so I’ll continue reading it that way.
What stands out to me about Shiga as a storyteller is that with his set style (which has improved, but is still very much as it was in Bookhunter, just cleaner and sharper looking) he’s able to communicate a lot through the art. He uses the eyes to convey shock, guilt, sadness, confusion. The list goes on and on, but each is powerful and can make the story serious or hilarious for a moment.
When I review the second volume (because I will) I’m going to spoil the fuck out of this volume. There’s this aspect of Jimmy’s character that I find particularly interesting. I don’t think it’s something that Shiga has overlooked, though it might come off that way to others. It’s what gives Jimmy depth since he has many contradictions to his personality.
There are four volumes of Demon already set and ready for release. There’s definitely going to be some time in-between releases, but personally I feel that it’s worth the wait. I’m looking forward to reading Jimmy’s adventure and to adding the next three volumes to my bookshelf.
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