Review: The Ugly Tree #1

This issue is amazing. Thanks to things like Scary Movie and the dozens of other spoofs that came because of its existence, the horror/comedy genre has sucked for a very long time. Then The Ugly Tree came along and fixed all that. The story is horrific and gory if you couldn’t guess from the cover, but it’s also hilarious. Its charm is that it remains serious, but let’s believable comedy happen within the story. Like any good slasher story it begins with a couple about to get freaky and busy in that order, in the woods. They happen to pass the Helm House and the dude fills us in on the local lore surrounding the house. Basically people go vanishing from there all the time. Hormones get the better of them and they stay within the proximity of the house and begin to get busy. That is until a werewolf wearing shorts jumps out of the bushes and kind of sort of attacks them. He bites the dude but then just stands there… and then he hits on the chick and then passes out. The dude takes the opportunity to take a video of the drunken creature and we see from his phone’s POV an axe swing up and chop his head off. The woman just stands there coated in blood shocked by the talking monsters (a non-drunk monster arrived) until finally she runs off. I’m not going to spoil the rest since its part of the fun.

The story then begins to follow a busty woman by the name of Cherry as she settles into her new home with her family. She’s living in Helm’s House, but like the rest of the family, she’s completely unaware of that fact. Cherry checks in with the rest of the family in the morning and this is how the reader meets everyone. There’s mom and dad, the typical teen brother and then Peach. Yes this family loves naming its daughter’s after fruit. Peach is the youngest member of the family and she has a rabbit doll and it’s fucking scary. Its eye’s change and it responds to the conversations that Peach has. Earlier Peach met a different monster that was going to eat her, but it was frightened by the rabbit.

The Ugly TreeThe monsters are ridiculous. They’re like murderous horny teenagers, one minute they want to have sex with a hot chick or look at boobies and the next they want to kill her… I guess they’re like serial killers now that I’ve said that. What’s hilarious about them is that they wear clothes. The couple in the beginning even point that out because it’s so weird and funny.

The writing was very enjoyable. As I said, the story takes itself seriously, but it’s clear that the creator knows what he’s doing. A horror comedy only works if both genres are honest. It’s like trying to make a B-Movie; if that’s the goal it will never happen because B-Movies aren’t trying to be bad. If you try to be bad you will be and no one will enjoy it because of that. That’s the same thing here, if the story was just trying to be both genres it would never work. Instead the comedy is funny and in a way stands on its own and the horror does the same. Sure they mix and mingle, but there are clear breaks in which the reader understands that this is the horror part and this is the comedic part.

The art fits the story and the both genres. I really liked the attention to detail even when proportions are being exaggerated. For instance on the cover, Cherry’s boobs so big that they’re folding over the bra she’s wearing which is something we’ve all seen in our lives (if not then get out more) and yet I’ve seen few other artists acknowledge this. It means her bra is too small for her! That’s rad to me. The monsters were also very fitting for the story and each has a great design. In particular the Slore was my favorite. The gore was awesome and not over kill. Sure the dude gets his head chopped off, but it’s not that gross. You’re not going to lose your lunch over anything, but it’s still gory.

If you’re not down with slasher horror then yeah you probably won’t like this, but if you like comedy, if you like seeing comedy where there shouldn’t be any… then check it out. And let me make it clear, it’s not dark comedy. Its ha-ha everyone gets the joke comedy. This book was fun as hell and I will definitely be supporting the second issue when it releases.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Abrahm Akin


Price: $3.50

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