PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.



Jason Sanford

I'll take this lighthearted version of fantasy any day over the rest of a too-serious-for-its-own-good genre that has long since worn out its welcome.


Publisher: NBM Publishing
Length: 96
Writer: Writer and Artist: Richard Moore
Price: $9.95
Item Type: Comic

A Cure for Fantasy Fatigue

Call it fantasy fatigue. After 12 hours of the extended Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, five Harry Potter novels (with each successive novel seeming to double in size), and endless fantasy knockoffs such as Eragon, the new best-selling novel started by author Christopher Paolini when he was only 15, I am growing seriously tired of fantasy.

Not that I haven't enjoyed most of these fantasies. The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are so successful precisely because they are at the top of their respective fantasy forms. After all, the genre is rooted in teenage angst and that familiar sense of growing up, leaving our families, and going out into the larger world. After a few years in the real world, people begin to ask, "Is this it? Is this all there is to the world?" This is where successful works, like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, step in. They provide the illusion that there is more to the world than we see in our day-to-day lives.

No, what is wearing me out about the fantasy genre is its solemn seriousness. At some point the endless battles with evil over all-important rings or the fate of the world grow a little old. You just want to yell, "Stop. Lighten Up. Life isn't always this grim and serious!"

All of which brings me to Boneyard, a hilarious fantasy comic book by Richard Moore. Boneyard is the story of Michael Paris, a down-on-his-luck young man who has just inherited the Raven's Hollow Boneyard from his dead grandfather. ("You actually call your cemetery a boneyard?" he asks the town's mayor upon first seeing the place, to which the mayor responds, "You'd prefer corpse farm?")

Along with ownership of the boneyard comes a resident horror-show community: a 1950s James Dean version of a werewolf in shades and leather jacket, a cockney-accented witch whose only facial feature is an oversized nose, a talking skeleton who is a sex addict, and a cute vampire named Abbey. Paris also finds out in short order that there's a serious down side to cemetery ownership � the devil wants the place and he'll stop at nothing to get it.

While this might sound like a B-level fantasy setup � complete with apocalyptic, fate-of-humanity overtones � Moore turns the comic into much more by keeping it from ever being too serious. For example, when the devil plots the downfall of humanity, his plan naturally depends on gaining control of Paris's cemetery. His bold step to bring about the end of the world: Send in the IRS to audit Paris. (Now why hasn't Lord Voldemort tried doing that to Harry Potter?)

But even as Moore's writing throws witty joke after joke at the reader, the main reason that Boneyard has created such a loyal fan base is because of the attention that he gives to his characters. Aside from the conflict with the devil, the plot focuses on Paris's developing relationship with the vampiress Abbey. While "I'm in love with a vampire" stories have been done to death (so to speak), Moore's attention to characterization and his perfect balance between sexual innuendo, tension, and romantic interest keeps the reader interested in where this budding relationship is going.

Another draw is Moore's unique style of detailed black and white drawings. Not only has his artwork shown remarkable growth over the course of the series, but his ability to render individual faces with his art makes him something of a rarity among comic artists.

Boneyard doesn't pretend to be great literature with a deep meaning. However, by being true to his own characters and writing, Moore creates one of the best comic books out there � a comic that leaves a good feeling inside after you finish reading each issue. I'll take this lighthearted version of fantasy any day over the rest of a too-serious-for-its-own-good genre that has long since worn out its welcome.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.


Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.


Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.


Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.