Graphic Novel Review 268/365: Dead Weight: Murder At Camp Bloom

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

Hey, all! I have some cool things coming your way in April, so make sure that you are checking back every day. I appreciate you for reading.

My C2E2 weekend was an absolute blast, and I look forward to regaling you with stories through the week as I bring you titles that I picked up at the show.  And today, I’m pleased to bring you another Oni Press title…this is pretty much an Oni Press week with some independent books in the mix.  It’s cool.  Oni Press is dope.

Title: Dead Weight: Murder At Camp Bloom

Author(s): Terry Blas, Molly Muldoon, and Matthew Seely

Publisher: Oni Press (2018)

Age Rating: 13+

Summer camp is a popular setting for story-tellers.  Even moving one step away from the traditional summer camp and into fat camp gives us a few great tales: Heavyweights and Fat Kids On Fire come to mind…but now we can add a murder/thriller to the mix of quality fat camp stories: Dead Weight: Murder At Camp Bloom.

Dead Weight is the story of a handful of campers and counselors navigating a landscape of healthy eating, exercise, and murder!  That’s right, campers, this tale mixes a good old summer camp story with some straight up murder.  Imagine Friday The 13th if Jason was low-key one of the counselors, the camp was for overweight kids, and the story for the 13+ age range.

The colorful, Oni Press book keeps fairly loyal to traditional page/panel layouts, making this title a good one to give to a kid as an entry way into the medium, the murder and intrigue should hook ’em.  The characters and colors (think most Oni Press YA books) will keep them reading.  And the plain backgrounds of most of the panels create a focus on character rather than setting.

The story is nicely paced, and the cast of characters is well defined…which is difficult to do in a semi-lengthy book with about ten recurring characters (plain backgrounds helping with this?).  This book does not break the traditional tropes or cliches of the horror or summer camp genres, but it does juxtapose the horror and fat camp well.

The book does contain a handful of gay characters/relationships, and while that’s nothing new or shocking, I feel it should be said since you might be giving this book to a kid that’s a fan of teen-horror, not expecting some summer camp gayness.  Is it even a thing we need to let people know before reading anymore?  I don’t personally think so, but I’ve come across some folks that still get bent out of shape if you don’t give them that information.

Happy reading!

Eric

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