Following up on last year’s No Romance in Hell comes this new story of the demon Bug who once again must venture forth from her native skullscape to secure some affection. In the first comic Bug goes to Earth looking for love after being rebuffed by fellow pit-dweller Grog. In this new chapter Grog is summoned to Earth by suburban occultists and Bug must ascend once more to rescue him. And if he shows her some appreciation in return, well, that’d be nice too.
The premise is straightforward and massively endearing, a delicate mix of subversive and heartwarming. Every scene delivers relatable emotional conflict with charisma, humor, and, when appropriate, the melting of flesh. Hyena Hell’s comedic chops are elite.
Hell’s drawing knocks me out too. There’s a life and weight to it all that pulls me right in. And overall it seems like the work of a supremely confident cartoonist who knows when to push a character’s expression, when to lay in detail, when to hold back, where to place everything in a complicated scene, how best to deploy texture … a bunch of nuts and bolts that many cartoonists strive for but fewer get right.
I see from Hell’s Instagram that more adventures of Bug are in the works. I’ll read as much as she draws.