Monday, 11 July 2011

Comic Review - Kill Your Boyfriend

Life ever feel like life ain't going nowhere? Like society is just trying to shape you into another norm observing clone? This is the rebellious intellectual, a punk revolt against the world that seeks to suffocate us. Our middle class protagonist, who goes unnamed throughout the book, is frustrated and bored. Her family looks only to tell her how she should fall more in line, her boyfriend is too repressed to do much beyond talking about fantasy novels. Then in comes our second protagonist, also unnamed, who flouts societal norms and commits criminal acts. After storming out of her home in a huff, The Girl tells The Boy about her problems, and her life. The Boy's response? 'Kill your boyfriend.' And so begins their odyssey into counter cultural madness.

Grant Morrison and Philip Bond's one-shot story is remarkably timeless for a story firmly rooted in it's context. It contains many ideas and fashions that harken back to it's day, but expresses ideas that are so universal as to allow the comic to easily overcome any datedness. Sure enough, The Girl will likely stay as an incredibly relatedable character until the west finds itself engulfed in some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario.  In this, however, Grant Morrison lays something of a trap for himself.

On the whole, I found Kill Your Boyfriend to be a bit lightweight. Moving alongside The Boy and The Girl, you get the feel that not much weight is put behind any of the characters actions; they exist in a world where nothing really means anything, and thus their violent and criminal escapades have little in the way of consequences. This, an interview tells me, is exactly the point: Morrison isn't espousing any of the ideals and philosophies touted in the book's pages, but rather just having a fun time. It's easy to see how some people missed this though, as such themes beget social commentary and Morrison is known for the depth of his writing.

The art and the writing are a great cocktail, mixing and infusing well. The dialogue is snappy and has a charm to it. This is an enjoyable and tightly structured story, flavoured by rampant amorality. Not the best thing I've read by Morrison, not by a long shot, but a very worthy and enjoyable read.

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