Friday, May 25, 2018

Escape the cape Part 4 - The funnies

This is the fourth article about comic books without superheroes.

Al's Baby
Written by John Wagner and illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra
So it turns out that the comic books about Judge Dread, is not actually about Judge Dread. That's right, both the original comic where he first appeared, 2000 AD, and even the titular Judge Dredd Megazine, are books filled with strange stories which often have little or nothing at all to do with the tough superhero.

Some stories are quite dramatic, while others border on horror, and yet others are pure fun. Al's Baby is such a tale, which blends mafia with male maternity. Think The Godfather mixed with Schwarzenegger's Junior and you're on the right track.

It's every bit as silly as it sounds, but also quite a bit smarter. And the whole thing has been collected in a stand-alone book that's available on Amazon.








Lenore - The Cutest Little Dead Girl
Written and illustrated by Roman Dirge 
This is one of those childish little treats that's not really meant for children. The titular Lenore fully lives up to her claim of being just as cute as she is dead, and she's accompanied by a set of strange friends which may or may not be supernatural.

It's a bit like Calvin & Hobes set in a Tim Burton world, with stories that often ends in messed up moral lessons. The writer also like to spoof famous fairytales and has a soft spot for Edgar Allen Poe, so don't be surprised if there's also a bit of poetic injustice.











Officer Downe  
Written by Joe Casey and illustrated by Chris Burnham
If guts and gore makes you laugh, then this comic is for you. Similar to the fantastic film Dead Heat, Officer Downe is about a zombie cop that keeps coming back to life.

This guy is not a exactly a good cop though, as he basically just goes around slaughtering anyone who stands in his way. It could have been just another over the top policeman series, but what makes it so fun is how the artist does shy away from showing the brutality in all its brilliance.

Apparently they also made a movie out of it, but from checking out the trailer, it looks like it's not at all the same gorefest as the comic. But please do tell me if you've seen it and think it's worth seeking out.








The Pro
Written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Amanda Conner
Even though this comic is actually about superheroes, it's more of an anti-superhero book, as the wonderfully crude Garth Ennis explores the genius concept: What if the person who was selected to wear a cape was not actually a goody two-shoes prude, but rather a tired old whore?

The whole thing is filled with dick-jokes and fart-humor, poking fun at the ridiculousness of the whole superhero genre. Ennis would later go on to expand on this whole idea in a much longer series called The Boys, which is also somewhat entertaining, but feels quite dragged out. So you're much better just jumping into this one-book deal, and get a quick laugh at all the silly spandex-people.









Everything Can be Beaten
Written by Chancre Scolex and illustrated by Crab Scrambly
Some weird kid with a mask is stuck in a cellar where he spends his days smashing little kittens with a giant hammer.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Killing kittens? That's not funny!"

But trust me, in this book it really is.










Schizo
Written and illustrated by Ivan Brunetti
Onto the hardcore stuff.

Ivan Brunetti is not afraid to go to the depths of depravity and find humor in such dark places that you should probably be careful who you let see what you're reading.

The title is perfectly fitting, as we follow the insane ramblings of a fucked up psychopath, who is often uncomfortably relatable.

It is extremely text-heavy at times, with some whole pages filled with meaningless babble, but every once and a while he presents something which you can't stop laughing at, even though you know that you really shouldn't. Like this:

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