Hot Damn! #1
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Valentin Ramon
Editor: David Hedgecock
A review by Amelia Wellman
Hell has always been an interesting literary topic, whether writing from a point of salvation or damnation. Although we can all say that it’s more fun when Hell gets shown, not as lakes of burning brimstone, but as a grimy city full of tedious bureaucracy and sarcastic demons. Hot Damn! is the newest entry in this hellish trope about Hell.
Hot Damn! opens with a landscape shot of Hell and it’s neon signs promising dead nudes, bleak concrete buildings, and a Las Vegas sign sans Las Vegas. The main character of the piece is recently damned Teddy and we follow him through a Hell support group, a human possession, and a meeting with the Devil himself.
I’m not going to lie, this story just seems like a lazy rehashing of Chuck Palahniuk’s 2011 novel Damned. It’s more or less the same story as Hot Damn! but with teenagers and skillful storytelling. Whether or not Ferrier realizes his story has already been told or if it’s an homage to Palahniuk is anyone’s guess. The humour that could easily come from Teddy trying to adjust to Hell is unoriginal and forced and, even as an anti-hero, Teddy is an unlikeable character that you won’t care to keep learning about.
Here’s something else I’m not going to lie about, the art is completely unappealing. The colours are ugly, the character models are ugly, the landscapes are ugly. This is Hell though, so I guess ugly is a good thing. Off-colour art usually doesn’t bother me since it usually ends up telling as much of the narrative as the words do, but there was just something about this comic that didn’t gel with me at all.
Skip it. Hot Damn! will leave you selling your soul to the devil for a good comic. The art is ugly, the story a lazy rehashing of stories already told (and told better), and there’s really not a single thing worth reading. Trust me, I tried. Each page I turned I had my fingers crossed for something–anything–to jump out and catch my attention in a good way.