Sometimes the universe works in funny ways and it will happen that I read/read or read/watch two things that I did not choose with the forethought that they might be similar, and yet there will be some surprising parallels or synchronicities. That always feels a bit magical when that happens and I am always receptive to it and thrilled at the experience.
This… is not one of those times. I chose these two books, The Final Girl Support Group and Survivors’ Club, because they did on the surface sound rather alike, and I thought it might be interesting to read them in tandem.
But you know…while they were both imaginative takes on the idea of “survivors that weird and scary shit happened to and now it’s happening again,” they’re very different stories, taking that core concept to very different places.
The Final Girl Support Group is handled in a decidedly slashery vein, supported by Grady Hendrix’s distinctive humor and his sometimes unexpected emotional insights. I don’t know why I phrase it that way, it’s not like you can’t be both funny and have an aptitude for writerly emotional nuance. I’m sorry to sell you short, Grady Hendrix, you pen some extremely enjoyable and satisfying reads! I tend to think of Hendrix as that really funny guy in class that I always had a crush on but I also suspected that if you scratch the surface of the jokes, there’s not much underneath. That’s not true with this author, and I need to stop thinking that way. In brief, Lynette and a handful of survivors of various massacres and murderous crimes have been meeting for therapy for over a decade–until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to pick them off one by one.
Survivors’ Club is…not that at all. This graphic novel comic series follows another handful of survivors, but these individuals are victims of supernatural/paranormal horrors from the 1980s–killer dolls, haunted houses, and possessions, etc. They meet via the internet and try to figure out what connects them, and why these things occurred, and what is it exactly that’s beginning to happen again? It’s wildly creepy and bizarre and gruesome and I’ll admit, I first grabbed it because I saw that Lauren Beuekes was one of the writers involved with it. I don’t really love how it wrapped up, and overall it felt a little messy…but if I understand correctly, it got canceled, and perhaps they had to rush the ending.
These two stories ended up being quite different! I guess that’s what happens when you think you know better than the universe. I’ll leave it up to fate next time.