Finally Reprinted!

KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND #1, DC Comics/Vertigo, June 1995
What do you get when you cross Ferris Bueler's Day Off and Natural Born Killers? One weird double-bill! But seriously folks, that's what Grant Morrison's Kill You Boyfriend reads like. It's a coming of age story about a schoolgirl who's so bored with her life, she simply decides to chuck it all for a life of random crime and anarchy.

And it's fucking brilliant! AND it's finally being reprinted for a whole new generation. Look for it on comic stands.

It's a simple and even random story with excellent art by Philip Bond (who would later work with Morrison on Bananarama) that really starts when the heroine, who has this fun habit of talking directly to the audience, joins up with a rebel without a cause who shows her the joys of vandalism and random violence. So they go off to kill her boyfriend.

Truth in advertising, guys.

And I mean, the little pisser deserves it as much as any literary character does. If only for his tastes in reading*:
Well, at least he reads. The world was a different place in the mid-90s, I guess. Besides, he refuses to have sex with our girl! But here's what he's up to when they come over to kill him:
Classic bit #1? Hiding the tape under the furniture. Classic bit #2? Buttoning your pants AT THE DOOR. Smooth, very smooth.

From that point, there's really no going back, and our heroine will experiment with booze, sex and drugs, fall in with anarchist artists, and steal some cake! Finally, it'll all come to a head on Blackpool Tower as the dark comedy gets even funnier by borrowing tropes from Greek tragedy. The ending is deliciously open-ended. Did it really happen? Do rebels invariably sell out? Is the story a fantasy that explains a later crime? Is inflicting boredom a greater crime than murder? DC has finally seen fit to reprint this book, just in time before we killed THEIR boyfriends.
*Note that the writer of this piece, in addition to not condoning the murder of any intimates, whether the sex was bad or not, admits to having read crappy fantasy novels when he was a teenager. But not Lord of the Rings. That thing reeks. Tolkien couldn't write himself out of a paper bag. Oh, I said it!


De said...

But not Lord of the Rings. That thing reeks.

I read those books when I was 12 and thought, "Eh, okay." When the movies came out, my friends kept pressing me for details only to be disappointed when I couldn't remember. That's how remarkable those books were. The films are kinda cool if overwrought.

Siskoid said...

Oh I like the movies (especially their cumulative effect). But I can't get behind the books. Not taking anything away from Tolkien as far as world-building goes, but structure? Style? Character?

Nope, sorry.

Austin Gorton said...

Wow, and here I thought I was the only geek in the entire world who didn't worship the ground Lord the Rings walks on.

Love the movies, bored to tears by the books. I started to read the Hobbit easily a dozen times when I was a kid, because everyone talked about how "classic" and "awesome" it was but I could never get into it. I finally read them just before the movies came out, shrugged and said "meh."

As you say, the world he builds is great, but characters? Not so much. Just figures he can move through that world to show it off, especially the parts of the world that involve flora and fauna and elvish poems.

Sorry to go off on a tear; for years I've often had to defend my geek cred when I say I don't think Lord of the Rings is written that well ("no, really, I LIKE Fantasy books. I read a lot of them. I just don't like THAT") so its nice to find out I'm not alone :)

Siskoid said...

I read the Hobbit and enjoyed it when I was 10. In French translation.

I think once you've gone a certain point in your geek experise, you have the right to say a classic is just not as good as all that, else you can be accused of liking everything and having no judgement.

My level of literary expertise is high enough that I can find fault in Tolkien, Poe or Balzac. Which I do.

Anonymous said...

-(leader)Hello all and sit down. Your name?
-(Mi-taking stand)I'm Mi.
-(All) Hi Mi.
-(Mi) I'm a geek, and I can't stand reading Tolkien... (in tears)
-(leader) Tell us more.
-(Mi) I started to read it. I got a nice complete edition, all hardcover too. It's... Its... (choking tears)
-(leader) Go on.
-(Mi) It's "Meh". The movies are great though. I love them. Is that ok?
-(leader) Yes, its ok. You can be a geek and still not like reading LOTR. Thanks for sharing your story. NEXT!

FoldedSoup said...

Coincidently, I just finished re-reading this for ohh.. maybe the 4th time... yesterday. Actually, I was refreshing my memory to see if it would be a good introduction to Morrison (ie - not an overly Morrisonistic crazy-go-nuts mind fark) to get the Roller Derby girl interested in yet another of my favorite comic writers.

She's digging it. Right up her head. Yeah, baby.

I hope it's not giving her ideas, though...

Maxo said...

This was my introduction to Philip Bond's work, and I've been a fan ever since. And one of the things I like about this book is how a weird joy comes through in the writing - you can tell Morrison had fun writing it.

I wouldn't be surprised if it has better sales now than it did when it first came out.

Siskoid said...

Indeed. Dangerous propaganda.

Matthew E said...

I admit that there are legitimate criticisms that can be leveled against LotR.

But, well, I've read it more times than I can count. I've read it over and over and over. I've owned three different copies of it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is (and I know nobody here was making that argument, although you were all leaving room for it), the people who like it aren't just saying they like it.

Siskoid said...

I know plenty of good, respectable people who like LotR. Really, truly like it. I'm probably the anomaly.

Jeff R. said...

I'd totally buy a Bananarama CD if Morrison was singing and/or songwriting on it. (Bond wouldn't figure into the decision one way or the other.)

Siskoid said...

I'm your Rebis

I'm your fire

Your desire

Jayunderscorezero said...

Do I lose my geek cred if I say that I don't think the movies are all that?

Bill D. said...

I don't care for Tolkien's writing, either (though I did like the movies). It's always good to know there's more of us out there.

We should start a support group!


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