Friday, June 5, 2015

Comic Review: Airboy #1

The problem with trying to review this comic is that I am probably going to oversell it. I have so much enthusiasm for it that, if I just let it out in words, I'm probably going to convince you it is the simultaneous return of Jesus and Gandhi or something like that. If you want the short version, just go and read this comic. Seriously, just get it - it will be worth it. Do you need convincing with some specifics? Okay, fine, I'll give some, but not complete spoilers, because one thing in this should be for you to discover.
I knew nothing about Airboy going into this issue, and that's completely fine. They tell you pretty early on that he's an old Golden Age comic character, when the writer, James Robinson, is called by the editor of Image Comics to pitch the idea that they should do this series; after all, he's in the public domain, so why not use him? Then Robinson reaches out to artist Greg Hinkle, trying to get some sort of a handle on what they're going to do about Airboy, what it is about him that might make modern readers care.

Yes, this series loves itself and its metafiction, not being about making something in the metaphorical sense but in the very literal sense. We follow Robinson and Hinkle as they try to figure out what the hell would make anyone care about Airboy, starting off as just trying to bounce ideas off each other, then they lock themselves in a motel room, and soon they end up in bars and partying and every bad stereotype you think of about what writers do instead of working. It is depraved and disgusting and offensive and so much fun that you don't really care that it is all of those other things. Even the fact that it is a little too fond of referencing comic creators passes by so quickly that, even if you don't know all the names, you'll still at least get the gist of the joke.

Then there is the end. You probably can guess it, but I am not going to spoil it, just in case. After how ridiculously over the top everything is, as they realize that the cocaine might have been the least of the things they screwed up, the story is completely turned on its head yet again, and I am immediately onboard for wherever it is going next.

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