Deadbeats by Chad Fifer, Chris Lackey and I.N.J. Culbard (comic review).

Ever had a day go slightly awry? Lost your car keys when running late or perhaps locked out when it’s raining. That’s just small change compared to the troubles suffered by our hero in ‘Deadbeats’.


On the lamb after stopping a mobster from “jazzing a flapper that didn’t want it”, musician Lester Lane and his bandmates find themselves embroiled in a scheme to raise the dead.

There’s a nice balance of Lovecraft and the ‘Evil Dead’ film series in this graphic novel and it manages to thread the line between horror and comedy perfectly.

‘Deadbeats’ is somewhat cinematic in the way it hits the ground running. Backstories are tied in nicely throughout the tale rather than wasting time at the start and there’s certainly no hanging around. The action moves at a fairly rapid pace and at 136 pages, the authors pack a lot in.

The character lines are drawn quite quickly with Lester’s unflappable demeanour is endearing rather than annoying but only just. He takes every situation in his stride and comes up with the best plan possible. His bandmates are perhaps less well-rounded characters, with drummer ‘Iron Willie’ constantly searching for a pair of pants. Trust me, it is actually funnier than it sounds and has a nice pay-off as far as tangential stories go. You can’t help but root for these guys though as their situation turns from bad to worse without them ever throwing in the towel. I would love to see more from Lester and his group as the potential for a undead-fighting jazz band is massive.

The artwork is engaging, especially when music is involved as every note is drawn on page. The full colour artwork also helps convey the 1920s style as well as the scenes with fire that have a warm glow belying the precarious situation.

A nicely engaging horror story that hits all the right notes.

SelfMadeHero, November 2012, 136 pages, Paperback Graphic Novel, ISBN: 978-1-906838-42-9, £14.99

Check it out here: www.selfmadehero.com


Once called a "fountain of useless pop culture knowledge", Aidan is an unashamed geek, grateful that he is allowed share his opinions on a global scale. A journalist by trade, Aidan is a massive fan of comics and recently set up a comics group in Brighton in order to engage more with like-minded people. His home is subject to a constant battle of vintage paraphernalia and science fiction & fantasy toys.

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