In celebration of real-life-but-still-fictional, actual Pepe the Frog landing in our warehouse, we’re bigging up that special breed of comics that exist outside the realm of sequential plot – or even really any kind of plot at all; outside the norms of proper society and standards of decency; comics that make you want to just step back and *chill* for a bit. Like the Skins of their industry, comics like Boy’s Club say “fuck it.”
Boy’s Club sees Pepe and his bro-tastic mates hang out, imbibe drugs, and just be a bit gross, all in one-page, one-colour stories. VICE pretty neatly summed the whole concept up as “What if the Muppets vaped?”, also drawing a comparison between Pepe + Co and adorable yet totally disgusting babies.
We love and cherish this category of weirdo comics here at Turnaround, stocking a strange array of psychedelic delights from publishers around the globe. To mark Boy’s Club 19 May publication date, we’ve gathered our best and brightest books designed to induce this face:
We’ll also be giving away a copy of Boy’s Club, plus a few other treats from our comics range, in a couple weeks when we launch our brand new comics newsletter. Stay tuned!
Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)
Following their adventures in Megahex, Simon Hanselmann’s sacrilegious adaptations of beloved British children’s characters, Megg & Mogg, take a romantic trip to Amsterdam, only to find they’ve forgotten their anti-depressants, and enlisting their friend Owl to help proves not such a great idea when he lands in the Netherlands with a suitcase full of glass dildos. Fresh from a regular VICE series, these comics are as horrifying and baffling as they are hilarious. They’ll have you sort of snorting inwardly in an I-can’t-believe-I’m-laughing-at-this kind of way.
Mox Nox by Joan Cornella (Fantagraphics)
Joan Cornellà’s deviant little dudes are recognisable the world over for their vacant, shit-eating grins, their beady eyes and an unmissable colour palette. This Spanish artist’s wordless strips are viciously funny, full of psychopaths living out your worst hallucenogenic nightmares in just a couple panels. Probably you’re one of the three million people following him on Facebook, where he provides daily dosages of gruesome crime, bizarre body-swapping, and far more schadenfreude than anybody should expose themselves to. Don’t ask why we laugh at Cornellà, because it’s an answer nobody really wants.
Ding Dong Circus by Sasaki Maki (Breakdown Press)
Rather more classically high-brow than the rest of this list, Ding Dong Circus is one of Breakdown Press’s beautiful manga series, in which all the titles share beautiful jacket designs (by Breakdown’s own Art Director Joe Kessler, who also makes comics for the publisher) and hail from the golden age of alt-manga. While Fantagraphics are certified pros with lol-trippy comics, Breakdown are a damn fine British indie that err a little more on the transcendental side, and do it better than anyone.
Highbone Theater by Joe Daly (Fantagraphics)
Highbone Theater is our most grounded book on the list, with an actual array of human characters and a growing, sequential plot. I have mostly included it for its protagonist’s design – he’s got a huge chest, a tiny head, simple little glasses and he looks like Johnny Bravo.
Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata (Vertical)
Chi isn’t spectacular or strange like the rest of this list in any way other than being the cutest damn cat you’ve ever seen! This cosiest of kawaii tales is the perfect antidote for the potentially dubious trip some of the above titles will take you on, telling the sweet story of a kitten who loses her own mother and siblings one day, and is taken in by a boy and his mum into an apartment complex where pets are not allowed. Genuine hilarity and coo-inducing adorable antics ensue. The only vaguely lurid thing about this is Chi’s name: given to her while being house-trained, it’s Japanese for “pee”. You wouldn’t think it to look at her.
Boy’s Club is published 19 May by Fantagraphics
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Post by Heather
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