First published back in November of 2016, Jörg Buttgereit and artist Martin Trafford’s follow-on comic to the ‘Nekromantik’ films was simply titled ‘Nekromantik #1’.  The comic was published to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Buttgereit’s classic underground movie ‘Nekromantik 2’ (1991).  The comic was written in English (as an ‘International Edition’) so that it could be enjoyed by the many fans of Jörg´s work all across the world.

The story contained in the comic is told in three parts: ‘Son of Nekromantik’ (12 Pages), ‘Nekromantik’s House Of Horror’s’ (10 Pages) and ‘Bride Of Nekromantik’ (14 Pages).  The comic also contains a one page introduction by Jörg Buttgereit, a four page interview with comic writer and artist Martin Trafford on the creation of the comic, and a four page account by Graham Rae of Jörg and a fellow writer visiting Ed Gein’s grave in Plainfield, Wisconsin.

DLS Synopsis:
It’s now 2011, twenty years since Monika found out she was pregnant after killing her boyfriend Mark.

Eddie is a loner.  When he looks in the mirror, all he sees is a twenty year old gravedigger with little to no future.  Although the solitude suits his needs.  After all, how could he invite someone back to the flat he shares with his beloved mother?  It could never happen.  Not with all the dismembered body parts lying around.

It wasn’t necessarily that Eddie was obsessed with death, he just preferred the company of the dead to that of the living.  Other than his dear mother that is.  Eddie loved his mother.

Life wasn’t all bad.  Eddie’s job as a gravedigger did afford him certain perks.  Away from prying eyes he was able to dig up the recently dead and sell their dismembered body parts through the dark web.  It was a lucrative business that had produced quite a sum of money for Eddie.

Which in turn caused him a problem.  His girlfriend Roberta was desperate for the two of them to move in together.  And with Eddie’s savings, she saw no reason why they couldn’t do just that.

But Eddie couldn’t leave his dear mother all by herself.  There was no way he would just up and leave.  He loved her too much.  But then, he also loved Roberta.

Although would Roberta ever understand the person Eddie was?  Would she ever understand his affection for the dead, like his dear mother did?  One thing was for sure, Eddie couldn’t keep his secret forever…

DLS Review:
If you’re anything like me then the news of a ‘Nekromantik’ comic which continued the Nekromantik story, had you drooling on your keyboard as you frantically got to ordering your much needed copy of the publication.  And trust me, as a huge fan of Buttgereit’s films, this comic doesn’t disappoint one bit.

Other than the front and back cover, the rest of the A4-sized comic is in black and white.  However this works well with Martin Trafford’s style of artwork, as well as the whole ‘underground’ vibe of the original films it continues on from.

The story is one that’s clearly aimed at the fans.  It’s crammed to the seams with subtle references to the earlier films, bringing in minor characters and little links that make you smirk with recognition when you spot them.

The tale is one that’s perfectly in keeping with the original films.  It’s dark and sinister, with an underlying sense of perverse love behind everything.  Although, where the stories told in the films focussed primarily upon the complex relationship of love and death, this story has instead gone for more of a homage to Ed Gein and his twisted devotion to his mother and death.

That’s not to say that love and romance aren’t nestled in the story.  Indeed, they take on a key role with the messed-up triangle of conflicting problems that Eddie faces.  Of course as you can imagine, things soon spiral out of control and before long there’s some proper old school Nekromantik dismembering on the cards.

Admittedly the comic is a relatively short read.  There’s also not a huge amount of dialogue or text, so it’s best just to sit back and take your time with it.  That way you’re likely to pick up on all the subtle references much more.

However it’s with the utterly unforeseeable twists to the storyline where the comic really comes into its own.  From early on you’ll probably be expecting a Gein inspired tale.  And for the most part it follows such.  But then, all of a sudden, everything gets flipped on its head and you’ll find yourself scrambling back through the pages to see the story in a whole new light.  That my friends, is good writing!

The comic runs for a total of 36 pages.

Eddie’s Secret – Phil Stevens – 4 Pages
Artist and film maker Phil Stevens interviews Martin Trafford about the creation of the Nekromantik comic, J
örg’s involvement in it, the homage-style ‘Easter Eggs’ that appear in the comic, and how Mark first got exposed to Jörg’s films.  It’s a relatively short interview that’s nevertheless packed with intriguing details on the films and the comic book, as well as accompanying artwork and photos across each page.

Did You Find Him? – Graham Rae – 4 Pages
Journalist and writer Graham Rae recounts his trip in 2012 visiting Ed Gein’s grave in Plainfield, Wisconsin, accompanied by Jörg Buttgereit and writer John Szpunar.  The four page account is awash with intriguing and strangely entertaining details, not only providing us with the curious facts, but also describing the atmosphere of the out-of-the-way town, along with their experience of the visit as a whole.  It’s a relatively strange read of a particularly morbid pilgrimage.  But it’s one that keeps your interest and makes you ponder more than just three men going to look at a notorious killer’s headstone-less grave.

The publication runs for a total of 50 pages.

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