[Review] The 13th of Never by Crab Scrambly


Cursed with bad luck and trapped in a monotonous life, an unfortunate young man named Zazil longs to escape from the drudgery of his waking life and the troubled thoughts that haunt him. A good luck charm that Zazil finds in a dusty curio shop proves to be his ticket away from the mundane, but it brings him everything but good luck. When soul-stealing creatures called Charnocks pursue Zazil through strange lands and ghost trains, he must use his wits and courage to escape them – and finally face his past.
The 13th of Never is filled with detailed ink drawings that ring of a modern Edward Gorey, and a storyline filled with dark fantasy.
Crab Scrambly, the artist known to Slave Labor Graphics readers from his paintings in the storybook “Everything Can Be Beaten,” written by Chancre Scolex (sometimes known as Jhonen Vasquez), now has penned and illustrated a storybook of his own, “The 13th of Never.” The 72-page novella features more than 30 full-page black-and-white drawings by Scrambly.


The number one reason I decided to buy this book many years ago was because of the art work. I’ve always liked this type of creepy and strange style. I remember loving it when I first read it and even though I still enjoyed it very much this second time around, I think this book would be better enjoyed by a younger audience. Specially kids that like creepy things. However, at the same time the topic of this book seems to me like it’s something that adults would better understand like  the dissatisfaction of a monotonous job, past guilt and regrets, and wanting to escape it all. I didn’t exactly learn anything from it, I’m not even sure there was a plot, but it did feel a bit relatable, which is why I’ll probably re-read again a few years from now.

Score: 5/5book 5 icon

P.S. I’m never going to try to draw my own feature image again, it’s awful.

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