By Eamon Espey. Published by Secret Acres.
In assembling a top 100 list for 2000-2009, it’s important to remember that for the first time, it’s pretty much impossible to come up with something that resembles a definitive list that spans the world’s output of comics…
21. Wormdye, by Eamon Espey (Secret Acres). Espey creates a bizarre, hallucinatory world filled with nightmarish dream logic. Espey mixes dark humor, naivete’, visceral violence and a take-it-or-leave form of storytelling in his short stories that are related by theme and tone more than specific content.
– The Comics Journal
Strange book, this medieval Wormdye; a succession of short stories forming one heterogeneous whole: one doesn’t quite know if one is dealing with a graphic novel spun out of control, or a collection linked by some mysterious cosmic order. The only certainty is that Espey takes a merciless look at family, religion and mankind, painting a chilling, merciless portrait of humanity as an emotionally devastated mass, crawling with vices. A series of illustrations without text are interspersed throughout the narrative, like antique engravings, endowing this modern tale with the power of myth.
– GQ France
The book of the year: Wormdye by Eamon Espey (Secret Acres), a plunge into the subconscious of contemporary America. It’s a portrait of life in a merciless world, with every perversion you can imagine (sadism, cannibalism, drug abuse and lactating grandfathers). It is about everything and nothing; it’s an orgy of primitive imagery, an appeal to your primal senses and most basal thoughts. Espey manages to combine Mike Diana’s scandalousness with Crumb’s obsessions, and lifts it all up to incredible heights. Wormdye is nothing less than the Howl of comics. I cannot find any higher praise.
– Wim Lockefeer, Forbidden Planet
Wormdye’s plot points alternate between what feels like arcane mythologies—origin stories from a time when our gods were far less well-behaved—and small tributes to a time before Disney, when fairytale heroes were potentially every ounce as wicked as their villainous counterparts. Taken individually, they add up to little more than a collection of demented grotesqueries. Taken together, Wormdye’s story, like its art, is a fascinatingly complex tribute to the traditions of a bygone eras—one whose nature will almost certainly take several repeat visits to fully understand.
– The Daily Crosshatch
Wormdye is perhaps the most unique and truly bizarre graphic novel I have read in years. Eamon Espey crates a world filled with its own mythologies and often shocking imagery. Though not for the easily disturbed, Espey’s allegiance to classic comics shines through and the stories are disarmingly funny.
– Large Hearted Boy
Reading Wormdye is literally like a rollercoaster, an orgy of primitive images and metaphors, all depicted with equally primitive style. What is important to Espey is not the depiction of events, but the depiction of primeval feelings and basic thoughts. For this, he often reaches back to the pictorial language of ancient civilizations, while at the same time working in the underground tradition of Robert Crumb… Without doubt one of the most important, if not THE most important, book of the year.
– Stripgids (Belgian comics review)
Original and unique, Wormdye is a graphic novel like no one has seen. A bizarre story involving alien technology, the River Styx, and corn, the entertainment value is nonstop through the whole thing. Through its humor it also offers insights on the human experience as a whole, from everything from relationships to religion to death. Wormdye is a must for anyone seeking something offbeat and different.
– Mid-west Book Review