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Wormwood Volume 1 (v. 1) Paperback – March 27, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600100473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600100475
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just when John Constantine was starting to be a bit rumpled, along comes another nattily dressed smart-ass who does business with the unholy darkness; this time, he's a little closer to being one of them. Templesmith's Wormwood is a preternaturally cheery corpse with an ever-present cigarette and pentagram tattoo on his forehead to match the psychotic grin. In this debut, the gentleman corpse comes across a plot by a cabal of demons to infiltrate the world of humans and generally lay waste to it all in the nastiest way possible. With a game pair of sidekicks—the hulking robot Pendulum and lithe punk assassin Phoebe—Wormwood does battle with a full complement of foul netherworld beasties. This material could come off as rank at worst and derivative at best, just another horror comic with a yen for desecrated corpses. But in a wry manner, Templesmith (30 Days of Night) tweaks a surprising amount of humor out of the overdone scenarios, cloaking it all in darkly layered and intricate art that recalls Criminal Macabre. One assumes more Wormwood tales will follow, along with more people suffering from, as a policeman refers to it, "extreme cases of, uh, death." (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Ben Templesmith is a New York Times best selling artist and writer most widely known for his work in the comic book industry where he has received multiple nominations for the International Horror Guild Awards as well as the industry's top prize, the Eisner Award. He also won a Spike TV Scream Award.

As a creator, his most notable works have been 30 Days of Night (which spawned a major motion picture) and Fell. His other projects include the critically acclaimed serial Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, as well as Welcome to Hoxford, and Singularity 7, all of which he also wrote.

He has also worked on the Star Wars, Doctor Who, GI Joe, Army of Darkness, Silent Hill and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer properties and produces art and design for music bands, dvds, toys, and film concept work.

Customer Reviews

Gory, twisted, and fun.
M. Swenson
The story can be a bit convoluted and outright bizarre, but really it adds to the charm of the books.
This has fantastic art & story!
jim valliere

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse is the product of 30 Days of Night artist, Ben Templesmith, who not only provides the art, but wrote the story as well. This 152 page trade paperback collects the four issue mini-series along with the Wormwood: The Taster which served as a prelude to the mini-series. If I could pick just one word to describe Wormwood it would be...squishy...that tends to sum up both the look and feel of the book. Wormwood is a sentient worm that lives inside the eye-socket of a rather dapper English gentleman corpse. I've heard Wormwood described as actually being a maggot but no, he's definitely longer and, uh, squishier than a maggot.

Wormwood is never without his sidekick Mr. Pendulum, a mechanical construct with a bad attitude who looks like one of the members of ZZ Top. He's also frequently in the company of a lazy ghost detective named Trotsky, assistant Phoebe Phoenix, and former girlfriend Medusa who runs a local strip club and guards a gateway to hell. A pretty eclectic band of characters, no doubt about it!

Wormwood is like the John Constantine of the worm/maggot world. He's known to associate with various demons and deities, often over a multitude of beers. The opening prelude takes place in Medusa's club which suddenly becomes infected with demonic plants which have a nasty habit of bursting out of the customer's mouths. Wormwood and crew have to find the sporefather and destroy it before all of the customers become hothouses four more of the beasties. "Birds, Bees, Blood, and Beer" is a four-part story making up the bulk of the book. Someone is selling men what amounts to tainted viagra...improving their sexual performance, but also causing their seed to quickly germinate until a many-tentacled creature explodes out of their partner's belly. Yes...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erik Olson VINE VOICE on June 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hot on the supernatural heels of Constantine and Hellboy comes another demon fighter/monster killer of ambiguous character named Wormwood. He's a welcome addition to the horror comic-book hero pantheon due to his unflappable personality and dark humor.

Like Hellboy, Wormword isn't, shall we say, quite human. He's a sentient wormlike creature who uses corpses for mobility and to blend in with humanity (magic helps a bit with his camouflage). As with Constantine, he's familiar with the nasty underbelly of reality and has a sense of noirish mirth that leavens his altruism. And there is also the typical assortment of oddball, gifted sidekicks to provide comic relief and take the brunt of punishment during combat.

In this collection, Wormwood and his partners take on some Cthulhu-like creatures that are threatening to devour humanity. Of course, this particular storyline has been done many times before. But Mr. Templesmith manages to (ahem) inject some interesting angles. For example, the author does a fine job tapping into our primal fears of sharing bodily fluids, STDs, and being consumed by one's lover or offspring. And as for the medium of transmission - well, I'll certainly never watch a male enhancement commercial the same way again.

Despite the intriguing characters, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the climactic battle between Wormwood & Co. and the main nasty. It was handled in a somewhat different way than these conflicts usually are, but the resolution seemed to invalidate the preceding mayhem. Clever at first reading, but it kind of lost its luster for me after further reflection.

The helter-skelter art suggests Bill Sienkiewicz's run on the New Mutants awhile back. Normally I prefer a more realistic approach - I liked Mr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jonathan briggs on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once you peel away the hype, the best-selling "30 Days of Night" is fairly standard vampire boilerplate. What made that series special was Ben Templesmith's phenomenal frenetic art. Now, Templesmith has trimmed off that writer-guy appendage and ventured out on his own, helming a series about a telekinetic talking maggot and his pet meatsack. Not only does Templesmith prove himself adept with a script, his art has leaped forward in development. This is beautiful stuff (depending on your appreciation for splatter, grotesquerie and demonic squid), splashed out in great gouts of black and crimson and morgue green. Templesmith is obvious about his influences -- Dave McKean, Bill Sienkiewicz, Giger, Lovecraft -- without being enslaved to them. He's carving out his own fetid niche. Maybe his chain-smoking, pint-guzzling protagonist too closely resembles a zombie John Constantine (Hey, Vertigo could hire Templesmith to save that floundering series), and maybe the book relies too often on the easy juvenile laugh, but I've read worse just to look at Templesmith's pretty pictures. It's nice to see a story that "lives" up to his art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Sanford Smith on November 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The story elements (plot, characters, dialogue, etc.) are very solid, often brilliantly funny yet never quite `comical' to the point of being, in a sense, comfortable (which is a great thing, a hard thing to manage).

The art is absolutely on another level -- worth 50 more stars and then some. As cliche as it is to say, it really must be seen to be properly experienced or even remotely understood.

Wormwood very much feels like a kind of bastard child (stated in the most complimentary sense) between Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis. I mean this in both aesthetic and literary senses. There seems to be a certain black, dry wit that these guys (Gaiman, Ellis, Templesmith) manage to pull off that is rare; it almost feels like a kind of grotesque (again, this is admirable), evolved version of what most people think of when thinking of `British humo(u)r'.

That all said, this is a gorgeous and absolutely visceral graphic novel. I'd never hope or think that the likes of Gaiman and Ellis are `done' in this genre, far from it, but if Templesmith represents something of a new generation, we're in good (decaying) hands.

I'm admittedly naive about how the graphic novel industry works, but these seems like a series just begging to get picked up by a major brand, specifically DC's Vertigo imprint.
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