By Dustin Cabeal
If you followed my review for the first volume of Jason Shiga’s Demon and Bookhunter, then you already know what I’m going to give this book. Shiga is unlike any other storyteller because of the intricate details he puts into the plot. He explains everything in this volume, the history, what’s happening to our demonic soul possessing everyone in sight. All of it. There’s not much to say about this volume because I don’t want to spoil the book for you. I will tell you that in a way our main character Jimmy Lee gets himself into not one, but three unbelievably crazy situations that give the sense of him having no way out. If you thought his prison escape was something of sheer brilliance, wait until you read this volume.
What isn’t addressed in this volume is Jimmy’s sudden apathy for other people’s lives. He initially tried to kill himself after accidentally killing someone else and yet now that he can possess others, he doesn’t seem to give two shits about anyone. This is amplified for another reason I won’t get into. We’ll see if this plays out in the next two volumes, but it was something that came across as a character trait rather than a story catalyst.
The writing continues to be sharp. As I said, Shiga writes in a mathematical way. Which is strange to say, because you wouldn’t necessarily think that it translates into something creative, but it does. Mostly because of the dark humor that Shiga pours into the story. This humor is highlighted on the dedication page in which Shiga makes yet another dedication to his wife. I won’t spoil the gag, but it made me laugh. Might be a marriage thing now that I think about it, but still funny. Due to the nature of the story, there isn’t a ton of character development. The frantic pace of Jimmy’s actions keeps rarely gives the story a chance to breathe.
The art is consistent with the first volume which is good. The worst thing that can happen to a web series that’s being collected is having the artist grow. I know that sounds wrong, but it is. Because collected readers will look at it and see the growth, but it distracts from the story. Shiga’s style continues to be simplistic and yet complex LEGO/NES era designs. It’s at times like reading an old school video game, and I love that. It’s still really detailed, and Shiga pays attention to things like body language and posture when characters are sitting. Little details like that make it easy to fall in love with the art.
Jimmy’s story continues. There’s layers added, and the ending of this volume is not only shocking, but it’s ridiculously funny. There’s no way to predict what Shiga will do with the story, and that is incredibly rare in comics today. This gets points for being original, funny and illustrated brilliantly. If you claim to love comics, but you’re not reading Demon, then I question the words coming out of your mouth.
Demon vol. 2
Creator: Jason Shiga
Publisher: First Second Books
Format: TPB; Print/Digital