Friday, July 25, 2014

The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack

Sometimes I feel like a bad person. I think that this song is funny (warning, it's NSFW). I am amused by these guys constantly hitting each other. I think this cartoon is entertaining. I miss the work of Mark Beyer, whose Amy and Jordan comics I absolutely love. The brand of schadenfreude in The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack is of the over-the-top and hilarious variety. It begins on a day when the naive, sweet, and unluckiest man in North Dakota is at the supermarket, girding up his courage to tell a woman that he fancies her. After one of his friends tells him to have some liquid courage, the innocent dope buys a giant can of alphabet soup using some dodgy logic.

Of course, consuming that much soup in one setting makes him incredibly sick, but still he soldiers on.
I will save you the disgustingly hilarious pictures that follow, but poor Bobo projectile-vomits soup intermittently for a few blocks. His spew spells out ghastly, mean, and obscene messages, which rile up a local thug, thoroughly insult his potential belle, and get him into a whole bunch of trouble. These events put a whole bunch of misery in motion, and no matter what Bobo does, it all ends of catastrophically. And hilariously. I do not want to spoil much, but the climax involves cat allergies, the Yakuza, and a large, hungry snake.

I understand that this comic might not be for everyone, what with its dark comedy and gleefully grotesque pictures. Personally, I think that artist Jon Chadurjian is following in a great comic tradition of folks like Chuck Jones (think that one cartoon where the artist torments Daffy Duck, or any Daffy Duck cartoon he did for that matter). Chadurjian works and teaches at The Center for Cartoon Studies and also publishes under the name Jon Chad. He has created the science-themed graphic novels Leo Geo and his Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth and Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis. Like this book, they are gorgeously rendered, but unlike this book they are appropriate for all ages.

Some of the stories in this book originally appeared as mini-comics. Also, I had a difficult time finding reviews for this title, but the ones I did find were complimentary. Shea Hennum praised its weirdness and stated that although it might not be for everyone "the book fits well in the catalogue of high quality books that Chris Pitzer is curating over at Adhouse." Rick Kreiner at The Comics Journal positively spoke of Chad's characters as "grotesques in their fully rendered, rounded, loving detail."

Like all the graphic novels I am reviewing this month, The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack was published by Adhouse Books. They provide a preview here.

I met Chadurjian at this year's HeroesCon, and he was a smart and funny guy. I bought one of his Leo Geo books on Saturday and was so impressed I came back and bought one of every graphic novel title he had. He was nice enough to sign one of these color initial-versions of this book's cover for me. You should check his books out because he is a very talented fellow!
Our hero surrounded by those who make his life difficult.

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