I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got three new comics plus a hard cover collection:

  • Usagi Yojimbo – 142
  • Rasl – 12
  • Dark Horse Presents – 6
  • Locke and Key Volume 4 “Keys to the Kingdom”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    ”Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary” by Justin Green

    The world of Underground Comix was a little bit before my time. As I was born in 1966 by the time I was old enough to read them they were long gone. Well, maybe short gone. Sure I knew who Robert Crumb and a few other of the more famous underground cartoonists were but I never read much of their work and they seemed liked old relics of the 1960s drug culture to me. But in the end I like learning about and reading comics that come from a time and place that I know little about. So when I read that this book, “Binky Brown” was being reprinted and touted as a being a “Lost classic of Underground Comix” and the first autobiographical comic it piqued my interest.

    “Binky Brown” is the story of a boy growing up in the 1950s (I think) and dealing with adolescence, neuroses, and Catholicism. His main problems are that he goes to a Catholic school run by old fashioned Nuns, is very earnest, and believes all the crazy notions of sin being taught to him. I say “Crazy” because I was raised Catholic, though I didn’t have to go to Catholic school, and I’ve always found the notion that Yahweh is going to send me to hell for just my thoughts as insane. Even as a kid I knew that hitting someone wasn’t the same as wanting to hit them. Especially with Yahweh killing people left and right in the Bible.

    Binky can’t control his thoughts and starts seeing almost everything he does as a sin. His neurosis take over and he soon invents crazy sins of his own. His penis is the center of most of his problems as he starts to like girls and wants tohave sex with them but sees even thinking about that as a path to damnation. Hell and the Virgin Mary are as real to him as his home town.

    I liked this book a lot. Green is a good artist and an even better storyteller. There is a level of craft here that isn’t always present in a lot of autobiographical comics. At least not these days. The book is even printed like the recent IDW “Artist’s Editions”. Color scans were taken of the original black and white artwork so it’s as if we’re looking at the original art. You can see all the white-out and corrections as well as a lot of detail in the ink work.

    This book is not for the usual super-hero crowd. It’s got too much, guilt, introspection, and drawings of penises for the mainstream but if you’re an Underground Comix fan you should definitely pick it up.