Billy: Demon Slayer v2 #1

Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Billy: Demon Slayer v2 #1 Creator(s): Hayden Fryer
Publishers: Siberian Productions (Self Published)
From: Australia
Price: $3.50(AU)

Something is wrong in the suburb of Walksville, very wrong. Cults in suburbia, mutant hamsters stalking the school corridors and shadowy cloaked figures lurking in the shadows. With all of this occult stuff going on how on earth are a group of teenagers supposed to be...well... teenagers.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Billy the Demon Slayer but nor is there anything earth shatteringly new or exciting about it. It is a comic obviously influenced by the world of Buffy and the like. You know the stuff, teenagers caught between parallel worlds of normality and the supernatural. If you realise this from the outset then you can enjoy the comic for what it is, fairly light but not without appeal. Hayden Fryer has obviously had fun creating this comic and good on him. Ultimately though this is fairly predictable fare.

Visually the heavy use of black is effective in the way it adds to the sinister tone of the storyline. This is important because the rendering of the characters verges on being cute which does tend to detract from any building of tension. In the case of Nibbles the hamster, cute is appropriate it is not as effective for the human characters.

The main problem I have is that having read Billy the Demon Slayer I feel like I have just eaten my entrée and realised that the main course is not going to arrive, my stomach is still far from full. The reason is that there are only 17 pages of comic and 9 of them contain five or less frames. The first three pages concentrate on giving background so overall there is not much time to develop a meaty and satisfying story. Partly due to this the storyline is a little disjointed in places, luckily not seriously enough to confuse though.

Hayden has set the scene and created a good group of characters, the longevity of all depends on his ability to develop both to the point where they become real and captivating, at present they remain a little stereotyped. Billy the Demon Slayer has the potential to develop into a worthwhile teen read; it is up to Hayden to decide whether it does or not.

In a Word: Budding.

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