Death Inc. by Charles H. Raymond has been on my list of titles to catch-up on for a while and after last year’s Thought Bubble I fixed that by picking up all three volumes.
It tells the story of Stanley Angel who has had enough of his dreary 9-to-5 life but that problem evaporates with his untimely death at the hands of a bus. He finds himself thrust into the afterlife and with some loose guidance he’s supposed to settle into a new world where Death runs a huge corporation that aims to give the dead a new purpose. The thing is, the problems of real life are very much beginning to rear their head in the afterlife and Stanley is experiencing most of that first hand.
He doesn’t have much choice other than to try and adapt but just as his existence starts to take a familiar route to his sucky real life, there’s much more unravelling in Death’s plans. The friends Stanley makes over the next few months begin to help him settle in but as a serial killer appears in the midst of a previously stable afterlife, the cracks are appearing for everybody and a hint of mystery nestles among the lines between life & death. Stanley is the anchor for everything that’s crumbling around him and every plot thread has its own sense of loss as well as its own weight to add to the overall story.
It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a book and been able to read & read through until the end but Charles has created that as well as one of my favourite books around. It could be that getting my hands on all three volumes at the same time probably helped but the heart he has poured into the book is infectious. Humour, stark realities, unconventional heartfelt moments & a vicious streak of double-crossing are blended together effortlessly and the simple art-work is given a true sense of power as things progress. Roll that all together across these three volumes and it’s a page-turning ride of underrated awesomeness……one that I’ll reread soon and get loads from it again.
Check out Charles’ online Etsy store to get hold of this & his other book and head over to his website for more info on his projects. You can also check out what else he’s working on over on Facebook & Twitter too.