Friday, October 13, 2023

Oh! You Pretty Things


Evil Things is a comic without a clear reason for existing*.  Was the world really clamoring for a graphic novel telling the origin story of 101 Dalmatians villainess Cruella DeVille?  Especially when Cruella was already given two completely separate origins in the (surprisingly entertaining) Emma Stone movie and the YA prose novel by Serena Valentino herself?

Evil Thing Graphic novel by Sara (Gloomcookie) Valentino and Arielle Jovellanos

Probably not, but we got one anyway.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of this trend of humanizing the villains- I blame Rob Zombie's Halloween for tricking people into thinking every movie monster needs to be Hannibal-ized.
 I guess it sells, though, as the YA shelves are full of Disney Villains novels, most of which are written by Valentino herself.

The manga-inspired art by Jovellanos is cute, if a little rough in spots, and the black and white and red color palette sets it apart from other Disney comics and gives it that throwback SLG indie comic feel.  The best parts are when Cruella finally unravels from the stress of being an emaciated unloved  widowed penniless former heiress with mommy issues:

Overall it was fine.  If you like Valentino's other books and comics then you will probably like this.  Inessential but inoffensive.

*On further reflection I realized that it was probably designed to make the Cruella novel accessible for reluctant or struggling readers, but since I never read the Villains YA book series this  hadn't occurred to me.