The idea of a child murderer is nothing new. The Bad Seed was a book and film back in the 50s. There’s been many a horror film since then which features a child as the protagonist. Yet it was with some measure of trepidation that I read Norman, a new graphic novel released last week. I needn’t have worried. Norman is handled perfectly well, it’s just not all that funny.
Norman is an eight year old who idolizes Jason, Freddy and their ilk. He handles problems with his peers by process of elimination, as in their elimination. There are no parents around so Norman is free to indulge his murderous ways. He even uses the school sandbox as a place to hide bodies. There are other things going on with one of his classmates that challenge even Norman’s bloodthirsty instincts.
The writer sets up Norman’s world well, in that no one is in any way likable so when Norman starts killing them off there’s no tragedy attached to it. All the kids are rude and nasty mini adults and not innocents led to slaughter. This eases the possibility of straying to far into tastelessness. Norman is set up as a mini Dexter. His victims are almost deserving of their deaths, but it doesn’t really work. While they were unlikable none were flat-out evil so Norman is not someone you’d root for. The adults are worse than the kids and the subplot with the teacher is just another way to excuse Norman’s psycho nature.
I’m giving Norman 2 and half stars. The art was good, the writing well thought out. As a fan of dark humor I’d hope to laugh a lot but in the end I didn’t even chuckle, at best it gave me a few smirks.
Norman Vol. 1 (of 4) (MR)
Writer: Silas, Stan
Artist: Silas, Stan
Norman is a typical eight-year-old boy. Except for being a psychopatic killer, that is! Norman is a typical eight-year-old, living in a little old house with his zombie uncle. A fan of horror movies, he seeks to recreate his favourite scenes starring his heroes: Freddy Krugger, Jason Vorhees, and Michael Myers. Jeremy, the new boy in the village, will soon join the ranks of the missing children!
Format: LIMITED SERIES
On Sale: April 08, 2015
Diamond Id: NOV141651