Boneyard, written and illustrated by Richard Moore is a series based around the bizarre situation that everyman Michael Paris find himself in when his grandfather passes away and Michael inherits some land in the town of Raven’s Hollow, a graveyard.
Michael set on selling the land soon discovers that the graveyard is home to a whole cadre of characters, which are based on classic monster archetypes, Ralph (wolfman), Nessie (amphibian), Abbey (vampire) and Brutus (Frankenstein’s Monster) with other characters include Hildy (witch), Sid (skeleton), Glump (demon) and Mr Vincent the resident undertaker amongst others.
Michael, despite the surreal nature of this discovery takes it pretty much in his stride. The inherent charm of Boneyard is the way it inverts the monster archetype, here the monsters aren’t a source of dread and terror but rather a family of sorts just looking out for each other. Moore’s art has a unique quality far removed from anything in American comics.
Boneyard blends sex,comedy and horror.
Ralph despite being a wolfman never reverts to human form, he almost always wears shades and a leather jacket and is an excellent mechanic, Sid is a chain smoking porn fiend constantly frustrated at his lack of the necessary anatomy to satisfy his urges, Glump is a demon exiled from Hell for being too nice while Leon and Boris are two rather odd gargoyles that spend most of their time perched atop the pillars at the graveyard’s entrance.
A recurring motif is Michael’s car breaking down or being totalled in some manner and Ralph having to fix it. Another major factor is the relationships between the characters.
Abbey one of the main characters alongside Michael only reverts to her vampiric ways in times of extreme need prefering to appear like a normal girl, viewing her other side as embarassing. She is also incredibly protective of the graveyard’s residents. A major element of the story is Abbey and Michael’s attraction to each other but their reluctance to do anything about it. Their relationship inverts the usual damsel in distress trope with Michael often finding himself in harm’s way due to good intentions with Abbey or another resident often saving him from danger.
Competition for Michael’s affection comes from Nessie, an oversexed and highly flirtatious amphibian, who despite being married to the huge and stoic Brutus, repeatedly takes full advantage of her lack of clothing due to her amphibious nature (wearing only some sea shells) often distracting Michael with her ample charms much to Abbey’s frustration .
A lot of the characters, being so long lived, have secrets from their past that feature in the story at some point. Antagonists also play their part in the story the first of which is the Mayor of Raven’s Hollow who attempts to convince Michael to sell the land for a sizeable sum of money. Boneyard was originally published in black and white although the newer collected editions feature full colour art throughout. After finishing in 2009 with a run of 28 issues, Moore recently announced his return to comics with several Boneyard one shot comics amongst other titles.
NBM the american publisher specialising in European comics and graphic novels is the publisher of Boneyard’s original run. Moore also has several volumes of more x-rated material with the same publisher under its ‘Amerotica’ imprint, which feature humourus stories with explicit sex. Moore has also done numerous more revealing sketches of some characters especially Nessie.