Comics

REVIEW: DeadEndia

Written by Jillian Diblasio

Following in the footsteps of popular animated television shows such as Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden WallHamish Steele‘s DeadEndia is full of outrageous humor, bizarre scenarios, and a lot of heart.

Set in an amusement park haunted house attraction, DeadEndia follows the colorful characters Barney, Norma, and Pugsley as they attempt to keep their attraction running while also hiding the fact that the ghoulish looking house is actually hosting a series of ghosts, spirits, and demonic beings. As a series of pesky spirits wander into the realm of the living and make life twenty times more difficult for our heroes, a mysterious figure lurks in shadows of our heroes’ misfortunes.

The first season of DeadEndia has just finished wrapping up. And it is definitely well worth the read. The humor and overall tone follows some of the most popular animated television shows out right now. It’s bizarre and focuses on the awkward aspects of life. There’s also, not surprisingly, a lot of theme park humor which is particularly funny for someone who has worked in an actual theme park. DeadEndia clearly knows who its target audience is and it delivers when it comes to humor.

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Characters are colorful but also extremely diverse. Hamish Steele pushes the boundaries when it comes to representing people from all walks of life with the protagonist Barney being transgendered and second-in-command Norma suffering from mental illness. And they’re not the only characters representing the LGBT community. In fact, most of the characters are part of the LGBT community which is a nice change of pace in terms of diversity and representation. Additionally, these aspects of all the characters present in DeadEndia is never glossed over and provides real, heartfelt struggles people in similar situations face. There is a strong sense of emotion the audience feels for these characters as the story goes on.

The artwork matches the level of style and use of colors that can be seen in American animated television. The color schemes always feel bright even during some of the darker moments. It perfectly matches not only popular art styles but also the fact that the story takes place in a theme park.

While the beginning of the season is primarily set up of characters and the world, the second half focuses on a larger storyline. The suspense is built up very well towards this larger plot which manages to answer why strange and abnormal events, at least, more abnormal than usual, are occurring throughout the theme park. The ending is extremely gut wrenching as it pulls on your heart strings. My only complaint is the last few pages of season one felt rushed and I would have liked to have seen certain aspects of the end be given a little bit more time. But if the second season, which is set to begin in January, is anything like the first, I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Season One of DeadEndia is currently available on Tapastic.com with Season Two premiering in January.

Have you read the first season of DeadEndia yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter!

About the author

Jillian Diblasio