This is Propaganda, I’m Richard Bruton and this is what I’ve been reading lately:
Biff Bam Pow #1
by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
A while back I reviewed Evan Dorkin’s Circling The Drain, Volume 2 of Dork (see here), a tale of doom and gloom, misery and depression where the reader watches the author have his own little nervous breakdown right there on the page. Biff Bam Pow, published by Slave Labor Graphics, is nearly as far as it’s possible to get from Dork. This is the silly, happy, madcap part of Dorkin, working in partnership with Sarah Dyer. Together they’re a fun, happy couple. Apart, Dorkin’s personal demons have a tendency to take over. Unfortunately, based on Biff Bam Pow, I think I prefer Dorkin solo. But then again, I prefer Sarah Dyer solo as well – her Action Girl strips are very fondly remembered around these parts.
I’ve enjoyed all of Evan’s work, from his earliest Pirate Corp$, through Milk & Cheese and onto Dork. But somewhere along the way, Dorkin and Dyer, obviously sick of not having money to make the rent month on month, decided to concentrate on other things, TV and illustration work – the sort of things that keeps a roof over your head.
Somewhere in the middle of all this Dorkin and Dyer started developing a reputation as talented creators of fun, all-ages stuff. And this is exactly what Biff Bam Pow is. A nice, fun, funny book with four strips, all typical Dorkin and Dyer, packed with great little touches and barrelling along with style and aplomb. It’s really good. But it’s not great. And I wanted great. The four strips; a female boxer cum vigilante’s big fight, a quick nutsy monkey tale, a cute Kid Blastoff battling an evil genius tale and a quick and silly superhero and sidekick tale are all good, entertaining distractions.
Biff Bam Pow passes a pleasant few moments, it entertains, the art is typically Dorkinesque, a vibrant and inventive, nicely drawn thing. But it does no more and no less than that.