While this wasn't quite what I expected, that's not altogether a bad thing. I picked it up as something of a Bizarro palate cleanser between massive mass-market titles, but I was surprised by how normal it was.
Well, okay, maybe not normal. In fact, normal is completely the wrong word. Reasonable? Better, perhaps, but still not quite right. Accessible? Yeah, let's go with that.
A Lightbulbs Lament proves that, when it comes to Bizarro, sometimes "Huh. Really." works just as well as "OMG. Seriously? WTF!"
Grant Wamack has crafted a melancholy, deeply thoughtful sort of bizarre fairy tale here. It's alternately amusing and disturbing, and sometimes both at the same time. The pacing if, anything, is a bit too quick, with nary a pause to catch our breath (or our wits), but it works. As we're skimming along the surface, enjoying the tale, our minds are working deep below, making connections and revealing the subtle themes and messages.
As for Mr. Watts, he's a sad sort of protagonist, innocent and unfailingly polite, yet weirdly creepy at the same time. Other than the fact that he has a lightbulb for a head (which, it must be said, is facing its last flickers), he's a very ordinary sort of man . . . just one who is having a very, very bad day. Without spoiling the tale, he's on one of those epic quests, in this case to to replace his head, save the girl, and bright light back into the world.
I wish I could say more, but every scene I want to share seems pivotal, and every character I want to rave about must be discovered on their own. There's nothing here that's going to challenge you, or to make you struggle to figure out what's happening, but A Lightbulbs Lament will make you think about the deeply philosophical crises facing Mr. Watts. If it sounds like a weird tale, that's because it is, but it's also a well-written one, so (if you'll pardon the pun) take a shot in the dark and see if it turns you on.
Published June 6th 2014 by Bizarro Pulp Press