By Ken Haeser (Writer, Art, & Colors), Buz Hasson (Art), and Chris Hewitt (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I’ve never checked out an issue of The Living Corpse, but seeing as how it’s annual features a guest appearance by Cassie Hack and her partner Vlad (of Hack/Slash fame), I figured it was about time to do so. Who knows? Maybe it will hook me enough to make me want to catch up with the series.

The Story: Cassie and Vlad, while investigating the legend of the Jersey Devil, find themselves in The Living Corpse’s territory. While the creature may not be all the legend makes it out to be, there is something worse for the three to worry about…

What’s Good: A simple, fun, comical, and stylish read, The Living Corpse Annual #1 proves to be quite entertaining. While not exactly mind-blowing, the one-shot succeeds largely because it is calibrated to deliver the story in a way that will probably satisfy almost any comic reader (of approriate age this), regardless of how familiar he or she is with the characters involved. And that really counts for something when so many comics are so heavily steeped in continuity or part of some longer plot. The dialogue is mostly humorous, the story is interesting enough, and the artwork is quite unique and eye-catching (love the way the Jersey Devil looks). In short, you really can’t ask for a whole lot more from a one-and-done comic character crossover that seems to be attempting to be welcoming to (mature) readers of all sorts.

What’s Not So Good: By far the biggest negative about the book is the price tag ($4.99) it’s stuck with. I’m all for simple and fun entertainment, but something as lightweight as The Living Corpse Annual should have a comparably lightweight price. Simple as that.

The other negative involves the artwork. For every few impressive panels, there is one that is lacking in some way. Either it suffers from looking too simplified (especially in small panels) or has character work that just looks odd. I mean throughout the book Cassie Hack seems to have a head that morphs into different shapes. And, as another example, in one panel Vlad almost looks like a teddy bear…seriously.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a slick, fun horror-comedy comic book, you can’t really go wrong by picking up The Living Corpse Annual. Then again, there are better comics that can be bought at a much cheaper price.

Grade: C (+ or – depending on your opinion of the price issue)

-Kyle Posluszny