The Claws Come Out is an utterly charming collection of horror/comedy stores by cartoonist Pat Lewis. Each of the episodes in this graphic novel tells the story of a different woman and her encounter with a different supernatural creature (or creatures)–and what women they are!
The women in this book represent a wide range of characters. There’s the utterly clueless Missy, who somehow fails to notice all the obvious symptoms of her boyfriend being a vampire. There’s Lisa, the struggling musician who gets sucked back into her old job at a research facility that happens to be housing the Abominable Snowman. And there’s Ms. Abigail, the fortune teller who somehow manages to bring back all the world’s dead, but is able to use “The Idiot’s Guide to Stopping Zombies” to stop them.
Lewis was obviously having a great time when he illustrated this book. His cartoonish but expressive style gives the stories an appealing animated look that shows his passion for the work in every line.
The light style also has the appealing effect of both distancing the reader from the stories and making the stories more frightening. On one hand, the stories have a feeling of whimsy and charm because of the artwork. On the other, it’s kind of scary to see an animated-styled zombie getting its brains shot out.
However, what really makes this book enjoyable is the feeling that Lewis is having so much fun in each story. It’s almost impossible not to be carried along with his enthusiasm and good humor as we see dinosaurs fight the Abominable Snowman, a female werewolf fight aliens, or a soothsayer fight zombies. Lewis obviously loves wacky old monster movies, and he is totally devoted to sharing that passion.
This is a sumptuously produced 150-page hardback book with a $20 cover price. You can judge value-per-dollar for yourself, but The Claws Come Out is a thoroughly entertaining book by an artist who clearly loves his subject matter.