Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: Weekly World News Vol. 1 TPB

Warning: Spoiler Alert!!!

  “Only thing worst than being saved by a democrat is being saved by a freak.”

Weekly World News, by Chris Ryall and Alan Robinson, follows Ed Anger in his quest to rid America of freaks, democrats, gay, pot smoking, vegetarian Indians, etc. but mainly freaks. Now when I say freaks, I mean honest to goodness freaks, ripped straight out of the WWN such as Manigator, UFO Alien, and perhaps the most famous of them all, Bat Boy, whose ability to be in the right place at the right time has earned him the love and trust of the American people, and even churned out a musical. (*Note - I was able to see Bat Boy the Musical during its off-Broadway run, loved it, it was hilarious, and think it should be revived.You can find more info about it here.)

But back to Ed, whose hate, anger, and bigotry almost destroys America. To save the country he loves so much, he has to team up with the very freaks he absolutely loathes in order to learn a very valuable lesson in tolerance: America has always had freaks.You don’t have to like them but you do have to accept them. It’s the only way to survive.

It took me a while to get into the story. When I started reading it all I could think was, “Why am I reading about a crazy bastard who stands for everything I hate and does this story have a point?” But I kept on reading and all these little details started to pop out at me. There were so many pop culture jokes in the writing and art they needed to add a blurb at the end to explain them all. I particularly enjoyed the Twilight Zone “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” sequence. It fit so perfectly with Ed’s paranoia. There was also a couch jumping Tom Cruise panel, two of the Three Little Pigs, and my favorite - a nod to Jack Kirby in “Sgt. Kurtzberg and his Fightin’ Commandos” posed to echo the cover of Marvel’s “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos” #1. But did anyone notice Howard the Duck, Devil Gumby and Commissioner Gordon in the hand holding scene? Big smiles!

The three things I loved most about this -

Ed believes Bat Boy is an attention hound and glory hog. Bat Boy really does manage to show up at the perfect moment to save the day and get the photo-op. Makes one wonder if he is genuinely lucky or is he a diabolical mastermind who somehow manages to orchestrate these incidents?

Bat Boy’s mouth never closes. I don’t know if it’s possible but he never talks. Just says, “Skree” over and over as if we’re supposed to understand what he’s saying.

However, the absolute best part of this story is Manigator. Ed goes down to Florida after learning about Manigator’s existence and boy, is he in for a shock when he learns Manigator talks about prayer while drinking American beer and owns an unregistered weapon. As Ed puts it, “Aww dammit, you’re a Real American!” He is also the reason Ed Anger is able to learn how to be more tolerable and able to save the day. Besides, how can you not like a guy who’s impressed by ice cubes?

As I said earlier, it took me awhile to get into the story and while I had parts I loved, overall, I wasn’t sure if I liked it in its entirety, but once I started to really digest the story, and tell people about it, I quickly appreciated what a unique voice it had. That’s when I realized how much I liked all of it. It’s a great romp. So, if you like fun and quirky stories with depth, and filled with quality art, then this is the story for you. Read it then come back and tell us who your favorite freak is!

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