NED, LORD OF THE PIT, VOL. 1/ Script, Art, Colors and Covers by JIM CALAFIORE/ Letters and Production by DEZI SIENTY/ Published by PAINFULLY NORMAL PRODUCTIONS
Ned Hume might be one of life’s loveable losers except for the fact that he’s a complete prick. He might be sympathetic if his biggest problems didn’t involve pursing his dreams of becoming a actor in defiance of the filthy rich father who wants to bring Ned into the family business and finding the courage to tell his girlfriend Katie that he loves her. First world problems? Ned should be so unfortunate. Okay, he did have coffee spilled on him twice right before his last audition, but Ned only thinks he knows what real suffering is about.
Unfortunately for Ned, his week is about to take a turn for the worse and give him an education in pain.
It turns out that Ned’s father is a high-ranking Lord of Hell, charged with ruling one of the seven regions of the Infernal Dimension. And with Ned’s older brother having just died, Ned is now heir apparent to the throne and has come into all the power and privileges that come with the position. Of course Ned has no interest in joining his father or exploiting the power that is now his to command. Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter in the least to Ned’s father, the horde of angels that are hunting him, the demons that are camping out in his apartment using his Playstation, the strange women throwing themselves at him demanding they be filled with his seed, and the cops that want to question him regarding why he’s the sole survivor of an audition that ended with all of his competitors dropping dead.
I’m not sure how I missed out on the original crowd-funding effort behind Ned, Lord of the Pit Volume 1, but I’m glad I was recently given the opportunity to see what I had missed. This is, to put it plainly, one of the funniest comics it has been my pleasure to read in recent memory. I enjoyed Jim Calafiore’s artwork on Leaving Megapolis and Surviving Megapolis but this series proves he’s also a good writer.
The artwork, unsurprisingly, is wonderful, with Calafiore handling the interior coloring duties for the first time in his career. His use of tints and layers is excellent, highlighting the quality of his linework. I also must praise his character designs for the various demons, which put me in the mind of Jim Henson attempting to build live-models of the figures from Hieronymus Bosch paintings.
Ned, Lord of the Pit will appeal to those who enjoy Lucifer (the comic and the show), as well as fans of Neil Gaiman, Gail Simone and comedic urban fantasy. There’s a lot of dark humor and non-sequitur conversations amid all the supernatural elements. It all flows together naturally, however, from the arguments regarding the office politics of Heaven to Ned’s kvetching about the insanity around him. It’s well worth reading and I can’t wait for Volume 2.