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posted June 24, 2008
Teenage Dinosaur (carried by Buenaventura Press), comic book, 40 pages, 2006, $5
This is a funny little comic book, full of stinky boy humor of the kind you get trapped in the house on a Friday night or when you linger at a friend's place during a respite in a long college or post-college weekend devoted to severe drinking and other acts of decadence. You can practically sense the stale air surrounding Brett, Andy, Pepe and Landwolf as they goof off, play videogames, smoke pot, needle each other and most terrifying of all, briefly take care of a baby. There's no overriding narrative; the comic unfolds through a series of single scenes split by abstract interludes (a transformation motif) and implied stage-style blackouts. Furie draws loose, funny-looking body types, with figures that are so weak-seeming and useless-looking that the characters trapped in them almost become endearing simply by being stuck there. To put it bluntly, these boys are ugly and not very smart.
What saves the book from tedium is that the gags are quite funny, and told with a pride in their fundamental stupidity and meaninglessness that makes the whole thing seem like a recruiting manual for regressing back into a twenty-three-year-old who'd rather do anything other than go to work. It's a term paper on a state of mind marked primarily by a fundamental distrust of self-improvement and progress. Like some of the best comics out there, one can imagine the reading of Boy's Club
to be an act in the same vein as the way of life promoted in its pages. Buenaventura Press is doing a good thing making this comic available to a wider audience; it'd be a shame if few people reciprocated.