The Complete Love Hurts collects all 32 of Kim W Andersson’s offbeat, genre-hopping twists on that age old theme, and as you’d expect: some hit, some miss and some veer off into wildly unexpected territory. The book really runs the gamut, from zombie wives in need of a good feed to riffs on Bluebeard and lesbian samurais.
As you’d expect, tucked in amongst the hits, there are occasions where either Andersson wears his influences on his sleeve too greatly or he’s simply had the misfortune to have an idea that has already been done better before (see Love Hurts number 4, which would be Andersson’s take on Scream, Love Hurts number 7, which poaches wholesale an idea Terry Gilliam roadtested in Monty Python many moons ago and Love Hurts number 8, which harks back to a great many b-movies but recalls nothing so much as Woody Allen’s “Oedipus Wrecks” from the 1989 movie, New York Stories).
But even when his punchlines don’t land, Andersson’s art is either comic or horrifying (or comic and horrifying) enough to propel you over the line. What’s more, as this chronological set demonstrates, and as Andersson refines his programme, the book gets better and better with highlights including the wordless Love Hurts 17 (a darker retelling of Ted), a beachside zombie drama, a vicious revenge fable centring on the kind of people who – you know – won’t shut up in a cinema and, in Love Hurts 28, a terrific spin on time travel and misogyny.
All told, yes okay, it ain’t perfect, but what is? Certainly not love, right? It’s fun enough and good enough to warrant the price of admission and it gives us a flavour of what Andersson can do.
Any Cop?: Let’s file this one under: shows potential, eh?