Previously in Norman – Vol. 2
The second installment of everyone’s favorite homicidal child has arrived, and like its predecessor, the storyline is completely insane. The difference is, where the first was hilariously disjointed but entertaining with every panel, the second installment falls a little flat in the middle, but is entertaining nonetheless.
The issue starts with a cold open in which we see a teenaged couple having a romantic rendezvous in the woods. As the nerdy boy makes up horrible haikus, the girl gets mostly naked and tries to convince him to stop being romantic and start being physical. Unfortunately for both of them, he is swiftly decapitated by a clawed creature and she flees, losing a leg to a bear trap before ending up on Norman’s doorstep.
She selfishly interrupts Norman’s dismembering of a corpse with his purple pal Thing-a-Mie and is annoyed by the distraction. After turning her away and telling her they have all they need, the creature from the woods comes along and slices her to pieces, leaving blood and parts all over Norman’s porch.
The next morning, the crazy-ass teacher decides they need to take a field trip to the Lumberjack Festival a few towns over. She loads the class into the back of a very safe looking delivery truck, driven by Manny, who looks as confused as I was at this development. As predicted by everyone in the story, the truck breaks down on the way to the festival and the kids spend the night in the woods after being abandoned by their teacher who has a desperate need to get to the festival.
They burn one of the truck’s tires and cook hot dogs that I am still unsure of where they came from, and tell scary stories around the “campfire” but no one seems capable of telling a decent scary story except Norman. He tells the seemingly true story of his little sister who was bitten by a raccoon and came back as a werecoon. The only problem is, she’s the cutest-little-not-scary werecoon you’ve ever laid eyes on, so everyone deems Norman as funny instead of scary. He goes to sulk in a tree.
The next morning, the truck is fixed so they get on their way to the festival, but find the town completely abandoned. As they explore, they realize the town is not so much abandoned as it has been… eradicated? Basically everyone is dead. The kids search for clues around town and find clone Grace who has been inexplicably stalking them for the duration of the volume.
Meanwhile, the teacher and Manny go to the town bar and she kills a keg and tells him about her adventures as Miss Log 2002 and how she ended up pregnant. Once she had the baby, a boy she named Raymond, she came back to the town and left him on the first doorstop she came to. Every year she comes back to the festival looking for Raymond, wanting to explain it all to him.
AS the story progresses, shenanigans ensue, and much like the first volume, they get more and more ridiculous, but somehow still play out in a hilariously cohesive manner. I don’t want to give the entire story away, but there are so many twists and turns and somehow the comic makes Norman’s inadvertent murder of a baby hilarious.
In the end, we get more murder, more clones, and a murderous dog-anteater hybrid which looks as ridiculous as it sounds. Once you get past the dodgy middle containing the trip to the festival, the story picks up with the same sickly twisted humor you’ve come to expect from Stan Silas and his little psychopath Norman. Definitely worth the read and I look forward to the next installment.