Reading Pile: Not Drunk Enough Vol 1 & 2
Updated: Dec 25, 2021
Jen Van Meter's quote on the cover above captures this series perfectly as Tess Stone does an amazing balancing act with this dark comedy body horror series. I had read the first volume a couple years ago and loved it, and while the series is available for free online I am terrible with webcomics so I picked up vol 2. I went ahead and did a reread of the first book to catch myself up and I have to say I really do love this book and am looking forward to the third book being released so I can sit down and do a full reread all over again.
NDE follows a repairman named Logan and a very bad night he's having. Responding to a call in the middle of the night from a corporate laboratory, he and his partner Abrahm are immediately sucked into a hellhole of strange creatures and a fight for survival. Separated from Abrahm, Logan meets other survivors and is slowly pulled into the mystery of what has happened to the employees of the lab.
We're introduced to a great cast of characters, each with a well fleshed out personality that's unraveled as they jump from one emergency to the next. We've got the level headed resident security officer Maela, the cheery and violent I.T. worker Bia, and the always suspicious and slightly mutated CEO Varker. And Tess Stone does an amazing job of defining their personalities simply through their facial expressions.
Which is another reason why I recommend getting the printed books over just reading it online actually. The print version has been re-edited with additional panels to enhance the connective tissue of the story, and that includes Logan's face in this scene below:
I kinda live for those faces in this series. Going back into my reread of book one I remembered and was looking forward to that face and many other moments like that in this book, so yes, I say support Stone and Oni by giving them some money for physical media if it means also getting great additional sequences.
Another element I really enjoy is that the antagonists of the series are not just interesting but are given plenty of time to shine and offer real motivations. They're people (as well as monsters), and while there's an element of camp (which is great) there's also a lot of character moments that keep you thoroughly engaged.
Stone's work just hits right for me as it's full of personality, charm, and energy. The scripting is tight and the pace of the story pulls you in as we jump from one blood drenched scene to another. And as I said, it's an amazing balancing act because there's just the right blend of body horror and dread mixed in with all of the quirky faces and snipey comments.
Each volume is just $19.99 a pop, which is a great deal as they clock in at over 150 pages each and you get additional art and backup material as well. So if you're in the mood for something with a unique tone that drops you in on the action and never really lets up then I highly recommend giving NDE a try. Plus I haven't even really mentioned monster design at all, and trust me when I say there's some pretty great looking creatures throughout so horror fans will want to check this out as well.