Adventures in Cult City by Serge Buyse

Posted by on November 24th, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Chinese hopping vampires, an alien conqueror, graveyard horror and a zombie dog; do you need to know anything else about Adventures in Cult City?

Adventures in Cult City is a double first: it is the first published GN by alt publishing house Ooga Booga Comics, founded by cartoonist Lectrr and it is an original pulp graphic novel by newcomer in the field, belgian writer/artist Serge Buyse. If that name sounds familiar to some, Serge Buyse is aka Den Buyse from t’Hof Van Commerce, pioneers of the flemish hip hop genre.  Already outed himself as an illustrative talent by drawing and designing many of their cd covers, he has now taken the full out comics route.

Five young friends start exploring the graveyard of Cult City, spurred on by the fantastic tales of the mysterious grandfather, an old chinese fighter full of tales of vampires and zombies. But the horrors they find between the gravestones is an even older threat than even kung fu grandfather could have suspected!

In essence, Serge Buyse has crafted a hommage to a mix of pulp traditions. Mainly focussing on the sci fi of the fifties, the EC horror of the seventies and the ever-lovable seventies kung fu craze.  Oh those beautiful nights when I was still single and living in the big city, having nothing else to do but devour copious amounts of cult movies, beer and … other things. And what movies they were: Fulci’s The Beyond, Ray Milland in Man with the X-Ray Eyes, Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Shock Corridor, Invasion of the Saucer Man, Double Indemnity, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The Flying Guillotine etc etc. I suspect that Buyse has seen them all too.

There are a few other nods thrown in there too, the most obvious one is a the ‘group of kids facing danger’, a classic Simon & Kirby trope, and part of the fun is just letting all expectations loose and see where Buyse takes us.

Buyse’s closest artistic inspiration seems to be Richard Corben whose highly graphic dense style is very prominent in Buyse’s drawings. A lot of the technical tricks – mostly the dry brush and the way he draws his faces – also seem to come from this source. There is also a South American feel to it, I can sense some early Breccia in the textures and in the solid blacks. All in all, despite being Belgian, there is definitely an accomplished American comics feel to it all.

This is not to say that he misses a few cue points. The action scenes can be a bit overwhelming and unclear.  Even though I was enamored with the kid group concept, every kid in itself could have used a more distinct voice and sometimes the facial work on the kids is a bit repetitive and could be more defining.

Adding it all up, Adventures in Cult City is a rickety ride through the best of the glorious years of the cult era, down to the art itself. Serge Buyse has crafted an immensely fun tale by taking in what’s best in cult, mixing it up in a creative blender and distilling one fine graphic novel out of it.

Adventures in Cult City is available at the artist’s site. Click here to visit the Adventures in Cult City website.

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2 Responses to “Adventures in Cult City by Serge Buyse”

  1. Anzai says:

    It’s Serge Buyse, not Buysen, dumbasses! (respect the name)

  2. Chill Anzai, it was obviously a typo. The ‘n’ was only there three times in the whole review, one of them unfortunately in the title. It has since been edited, thanks for bringing it to my attention.