Writer/Artist: Scott Kurtz
Publisher: Image Comics
Plot: Brent has trouble dealing with the fact that his girlfriend Jade's younger sister is hitting on him while Francis deals with his own feelings for her. Afterwards, Brent quits his job at PVP to take a position on their main competitor's new reality television program. When Brent is fired for being too old, Cole makes him jump through hoops to get his position back.
Commentary: This is a really funny series. I managed to catch the issue before this, and one of the best things about the book is how easy I could step into it without feeling lost. The character descriptions at the beginning of the issue certainly helped.
This book is interesting because it is not your typical comic book. It is a collection of strips, which makes for a more staggered read. The strip is set up to be read on a daily basis so the story doesn't flow like a comic book should. That isn't to say that I didn't like it, because I did. I'm just glad that I spent all that time when I was a teenager reading collections of Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes.
The stories were funny. The geek nature of the characters made them easy to relate to even though I am not much of a gamer. Just about everything that is geek-centric (video games, comic books, role playing games, etc.) has certain characteristics in common among the people who participate, so the characters had some meaning to me.
The two storylines were amusing and well worth reading. The comedic bits were well timed. Watching Brent squirm around his girlfriend's sister was fun, and I liked the send up of reality shows in the second storyline. Scott Kurtz has definitely made the characters real for the reader and while this is not the deepest work on the planet, it was well worth the read. The jokes may not hold up in repeated readings, but for the initial go round they were funny as all get out.
In The End: My favorite character is Skull the Troll, and I have a feeling I am not alone in this. This is a fun strip with likable characters and a writer who rides the line of satire and ridicule beautifully. I never get the sense that he is making fun of the geek culture, though he is definitely poking fun at it and that's what makes this series work. It's nice to see that we can laugh at ourselves once in a while.
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