Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

Demonology 101

with 2 comments

By Faith Erin HicksD101
Read: December ’06-January ’07
Rating: Spellbinding.
Genre: Supernatural, Supreme Good vs. Supreme Evil.
Format: Full page.
Style: Black, white, and watercolor grays for shading.
Published: Not yet, but I would buy it ASAP. (Hear that, Faith!?)
Bonus: It’s COMPLETE!!! No waiting! Wait–it’s over?!

It took me a while to get through this one because I left it hanging on the laptop over the holidays. Then I rediscovered it and dove back in. This comic? Is Teh Shit. You like demons, strife, mysterious births, and redeemable assholes? This is the comic for you. Oh, the yumminess…

Once upon a time, a little demon girl was left on the doorstep of Network, an organization of humans dedicated to opposing evil. Though her presence perplexed them, she was given into the care of Gabriel, a member of Network, who has been her sole parent for some 15 years. Two years ago, Gabriel made the decision for them to leave Network, and he enrolled Raven, now a teenager, in the local high school.

Not long after, Network was destroyed, completely. Only two people survived, Poe, a woman with a temper, and John, a former double-agent for Network. They seek out Raven and Gabriel to give them the news. Meanwhile, Raven makes some friends at school, and thus our little band of protagonists is born.

But the baddies? They are not nearly so nice. The Jenner family made a pact with the dark side generations ago to aid and abet all things evil. The youngest son, Isaac, is the only surviving member of the family who wants to carry on the business–but only the eldest son may do so. Lethe, a particularly powerful and nasty demon, isn’t too keen on anyone mentioned above. And out of nowhere, two half-demon kids show up at Raven’s school… and subsequently launch a whole new brand of trouble.

The complexity is what makes it so good! Honestly, it’s a lot easier to manage when read in order. D101 was written as 5 distinct episodes, one after the other. Each is crafted as a beginning and end unto itself, with continuing themes that unite the whole. You don’t get a “Now everything’s peachy keen” feeling at the end of each one, nor do you feel frustrated because you’ve been lefting hanging. Satisfying is perhaps the best word for it. Ms. Hicks strikes just the right note each time, and I am awed. Each arc is fresh (omg, Madeline? Love her.) and the characters  are never revealed too quickly.

You have to read this. It’s tender, raw, and knocks the piss out of everyone’s sense of righteousness. Rethink your heroes, loves… and your villains. Cuz this one special little demon girl isn’t going to take you at face value.


Written by Shen

January 19, 2007 at 12:13 am

2 Responses

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  1. Agreeed. Faith hicks could be the best web comic writer our there, D101 lacks nothing. An interesting factor when reeding the comic is seeing how Faiths art develops and improves as she started the comic to learn how to draw. She is now a published Graphic novelist. It goes to show you can make it if you try.


    December 12, 2007 at 3:40 pm

  2. […] Demonology 101, a comic by Faith Erin Hicks. URL: (Review) […]

    A Great And Terrible Beauty

    February 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

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