Billy: Demon Slayer v2 #2

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Billy: Demon Slayer v2 #2 Creator(s): Hayden Fryer
Publishers: Siberian Productions
From: Australia
Price: Aus $3.50

Good to see the second edition of this Australian comic released. Good too to see that things in the suburb of Walksville are just as crazy as they were in the first edition. The demons are still trying to collect souls and Billy is still doing his best to stop them.

In this latest instalment creator Hayden Fryer continues creating his ‘Buffy’ styled world combining teenage angst with demon fighting.

I enjoyed the first edition for the light-hearted romp that it was and I enjoyed this latest offering for much the same reasons but just as I had reservations after reviewing the first edition those concerns remain. It is still a tidy and well presented if a little clichéd comic.

My main concern however is with the narrative structure. It just doesn’t hang together. The storyline just lurches around a littler too much, it seems to be in too much of a hurry and as a result it tends to lack the tight focus necessary to really work as a narrative.

Part of the problem is that Hayden himself as creator is in too much of a hurry. He wants to keep the tension levels high and does this by his deliberate revelation of detail piece by piece, an established method of keeping a maintaining of mystery.

He also wants to ensure that his is an action packed read with plenty of incident and heaps of things happening. The problem is that in doing so things get just a little too hectic. For example Billy whips to and from the Underworld in one sequence at breakneck speed. This event needs a little more time and space if it is to be fully understood. As it is it appears to be something like a vanishing act by a magician, all done in a puff of smoke. At times just need a little more background and a bit more variety in pace. Then again it could just be that I am getting too old.

On the other hand the humour is very effective. The demons themselves are pretty stupid, in some ways they are similar to the rat creatures from Jeff Smith’s ‘Bone’ [not in appearance more in intellectual capacity]. A good example of this is the moody interchange between two of the demonic soul gatherers that opens this edition.

This remains an interesting comic but more work on the narrative could make it so much more.

In a Word: Pacey.

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