Comic Review: LITTLE DEATH Vol. 1: Death and the Boy by Pom Poison (2022)

Genre: Adult Horror
Year Release: 2022
Source: Pom Poison Studio Site

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Dubious consent, attempted sexual assault, sexual content, gore, body horror, bugs, skeletons

Ellery Firth is a trans man at an all boys’ school with some pretty simple wants, like hoping the girl he likes, likes him back. It’s when Lich warlord Callisto has his eyes on him from a parallel dimension full of magic, war, and necromancy that the terrors start. It’s a comic that’s equal parts queer literature, horror, and dark fantasy, with an easy-to-read sense of storytelling that really lets the reader get nice and uncomfortable with the horror found within.

I enjoyed this one so much, I’ve subscribed to Pom Poison’s Patreon to stay up-to-date with upcoming chapters and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.

One of the things that stuck with me upon a reread are the balance of black and white, especially when we’re in the fantasy side of the comic. The use of paneling and color to show progression and depict a mood is masterful and such a feast for the eyes. Every new page of this work is an absolute delight for readers of queer horror. Yes, Ellery is a sweet bean who just wants to exist in his adolescence, but watching the terror inflicted upon him is part of the fun. Reality bends and turns in this first volume between Ellery’s relatively serene school setting and the torment coming from a literal alternate dimension (I am trying my best not to speak about things to come, but the dreamscapes and nightmares only escalate). Pom is also unsubtle about Ellery’s queerness; this story does not work without it, but it’s also adjacent to the plot in a way that really lets the horror and fantasy shine.

There’s an incredible depth of worldbuilding whose surface has only been scratched. A fantasy country is at war against necromancers and liches in command of terrifying, hungry demons. Our main lens there is Callisto, and he is absolute catnip for someone like me who has a penchant for liking the most deplorable man in a piece of media. He’s ruthless and knows the space and roles he occupies. There’s not much in the of his own restraint from getting what he wants. It’s like Pom understands the function of a villain, and does not shirk away from being indulgent in his character design and awfulness. That enthusiasm and passion comes off on the page. While nothing is subtle, there is still so much more to come. Like, what does Callisto want with Ellery? How does the conflict in his universe affect Ellery’s present day? Will they ever exchange names?

If you’re a fan of being genuinely worried for a protagonist and love looking at art with an organic sense of composition, story progression, and color design, definitely do yourself a favor and get this hard copy while they’re still available.


One thought on “Comic Review: LITTLE DEATH Vol. 1: Death and the Boy by Pom Poison (2022)

  1. Pingback: April 2023 Reading Recap | Jo Writes Fantasy

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