Graphic Content – Jenifer

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
Progress:
77/501Title: Jenifer
Creator(s):
Bernie Wrightson and Bruce Jones
Year: 1974
Country: USA

At 10 pages long, Jenifer is likely going to be the shortest entry in the 1001 comics lost that I’ll end up doing. However, in these 10 pages, Jenifer manages to do more and make you feel more than many comics or other visual media do with a lot more material. It’s interesting how a singular story within an issue of the anthology comic series Creepy managed to get it’s own entry in the 1001 list, but that just speaks to how different and influential it is.

In Jenifer we follow a seemingly cyclical story of this grotesque humanoid creature who is able to wordlessly assimilate and take over someone’s life to the point of madness. All is done through a silent and ominous pleading which, if we didn’t know this man to be the latest in a line of victims, could otherwise be read very much as the man’s very own neuroses brought to life.

As stories go it’s simple and horrifying and is able to touch on so many dark emotions at such a primal depth that the central creature herself is utterly mortifying. Yet, you still feel sorry for her. It’s so weirdly complex that I have no idea how this was pulled off in 10 pages. Similarly, I’m not sure how this could be adapted into an anthology TV episode without diluting some of the power.

I’m going to be interested how the rest of Creepy will stack up against this one shot. At some point in the future I guess I’ll find out. Not for a while though. Think it’s time for something a bit more lighthearted first.

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