Review: Freaks' Amour (TPB)

This is a reprinting of an early 90’s comic which itself was an adaptation of a novel from the 80s, written by Tom De Haven. The comic was originally published by Dark Horse and it looks like they've decided to re-release it. Freaks' Amour is like nothing I've ever read before. A kind of drama/thriller using mutants as the main characters.

In the 80s, a small nuclear explosion went off in New Jersey, mutating many people from the surrounding areas. We are given a snapshot of the childhood of the main character, Grinner, only to then jump forward into what life is now like and it isn't a kind one. The easiest way for a Freak to make money is by performing rape shows, and yes that is exactly as it sounds. The male will rape his girlfriend or wife in front of a crowd of Normals, who then proceed to throw rotten fruit and glass they purchased from the bar. Grinner and his wife Reeni are a part of this scene, in hopes to raise enough money to get an operation for syntha-skin, so they could appear normal.

Grinner's brother, Flour, has also found a drug like effect with the eggs from mutated goldfish, known as Death Eggs. These eggs seem to literally kill you, your body gives no life signs whatsoever, for a few hours until you re-animate. So everyone is addicted to these, Freaks and Normals. Deemed illegal, Flour is on the run, some narcs cops intimidate Grinner and he tries to unravel the secrets to the explosion in New Jersey.

This series was adapted by Dana Marie Andra with art duties falling upon Phil Hester and Ande Parks, pencils and inks respectively. This was hard for me to read. Not because it was bad, it’s just a hard read. It is a very slowly paced series, maybe trying to stay true to the novel? But it is this pace which brings it down; I believe a lot of readers won't be able to stay invested until the end. Phil Hester's art mostly has a geometric feel to it.

I was interested in the characters, the stories and the world that had been created by the original author. It is a good read but I have a feeling it would appeal more to older readers, something about the extremely slow pacing. Some of it can seem a little confronting when you read it, but it doesn’t feel unnecessary. If you want a mature story that has a social commentary tone to it, check it out.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Dana Marie Andra (Adapted From Novel by Tom De Haven)

Artist: Phil Hester

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $17.99

Release Date: 5/1/13