What better way to scare yourself silly  than a graphic novel of horror? This is exactly what I had in mind when I picked up Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter in honour of Halloween. Again, I find myself expanding my reading horizons and enjoying a book of horror and gore, which is something I don’t really dabble in, but I couldn’t find a good reason for NOT reading this book either so off I went. Something in this genre will never be my first choice of reading material, but it takes such little time commitment (I read this in under an hour) that I figured I wouldn’t be too upset if I didn’t enjoy it.

Smokey is taking in the gruesome illustrations with much interest
Smokey is taking in the gruesome illustrations with much interest

Essentially, this is a graphically re-imagined history of Robbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet. But as you may have guessed, this book depicts him not only as an artist (eventually), but a man who has a special skill of destroying witches, demons, ghosts and other disturbing creatures. There’s a love story too, and like most typical comics I’ve seen, the women are well endowed, so it doesn’t stray too far from the male-centric norms of this genre. giphy-2

Aside from my irritation at the lack of diverse body types which I’m sure many other female readers can relate to, I found the story quite interesting. Who doesn’t love a creative take on history? And the dialogue is quite witty, while the illustrations of the otherworldly creatures were as gruesome as they should be.

What I found most useful about this book was the real life history of Robbie Burns at the very end. I really appreciated this because after reading the fictional account of Robbie’s life, I wanted to know more about what he was really like. Plus, they include some of his poetry which was a classy touch. It made up for all the exposed bosoms I had to endure in the pictures. My only complaint about the history lesson at the end was its lack of editing; there were some mistakes, and very clear spacing errors. It sort of made it seem like it was an afterthought and added at the last minute before printing.

So all in all, it was a worthwhile hour I spent reading it. Don’t think I’m going to start reviewing comics regularly though, it’s just not my regular cup of tea.

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