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Arsenic Lullaby is a comic book series written and illustrated by Douglas Paszkiewicz, proclaimed "King of Dark Humor" by Previews magazine. ' It is known for combining horror and taboo subjects with humor and satire.
Among other groundbreaking content, it was the first to introduce a cartoon fetus. Its most regularly featured character Voodoo Joe, a witchdoctor living in the suburbs, created several zombie fetuses as diminutive assistants.
Paszkiewicz continues to publish Arsenic Lullaby sporadically while working on cartoon storyboards and contributing to Mad magazine, Mad Kids, and other publications. This magazine has been reprinted and circulated by Greek publisher Jemma Press, where it was quickly nominated for the Comicdom Award in Europe.
Paszkiewicz often uses phonetic spelling in his dialogue to convey the flavor of different regional colloquialisms, eras, and nationalities.
Arsenic Lullaby has also been nominated for the top honors in the comic book industry, the EISNER AWARD for "Best Humor Publication", the Harvey Award, and the Comicdom Award in Europe.
In 2012, its successful kickstarter campaign laid the groundwork for a wave of independently published comic books to see print without using the standard means of comic book distribution.
Arsenic Lullaby also had a story animated in Comedy Central's TRIP TANK.
- Voodoo Joe, a man cursed to help ordinary people get revenge
- The Clot, a man who was diagnosed with a deadly skin bacteria and had to have all of his skin removed
- Baron Von Donut, an immortal alcoholic mascot whose magical powers bring him back to life to give donuts to children, no matter what happened to him the previous day.
- a dozen zombie fetuses that Voodoo Joe liberated from an abortion clinic dumpster
- The Great Duranti, a stage magician who has sold his soul to Satan to become the most powerful magician on earth. He uses the powers for petty gifting schemes to fund his vaudeville show.
- Old man Hutchenson, a government clerk kept alive against his will in a cybernetic suit, charged with the duty of remembering top secret information deemed too precious to risk loading into a computer.
Arsenic Lullaby sparked four spin-off series by Paszkiewicz: Laughter of the Damned (3 issues), Misery A Go Go (1 issue), Arsenic Lullabies (2 issues), The Thousand Deaths of Baron Von Donut (1 issue), and Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition (magazine size) – Summer 2007.
Paszkiewicz has gone on to work on a reprint of The Gift #1, in which there is an Arsenic Lullaby-like story in the last seven pages, Pete the P.O.'s Postal Worker, Mad Magazine and others.
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