Leeroy and Popo is a slacker comedy. Yes, Leeroy might be a bear and Popo might be a …. well, it’s not really obvious, but the Nobrow website says he’s a dinosaur, so okay, Popo’s a dinosaur. But they’re definitely the model slacker adolescent males. Living a life that’s all about work avoidance, playing video games, and trying to get girls.
And your enjoyment of this debut graphic novel from Louis Roskosch may well depend upon how much you enjoy your slacker comedy.
Because although the art is really rather accomplished and charming at times, the storyline’s pretty much a slacker movie 101. You like those, and there’s lots to love here.
But if, just like me, you got all the slacker you needed from Kevin Smith’s Clerks many years ago, this just feels like it’s going back over well trodden ground. Nicely done certainly, and a really lovely lot of art in these pages from Roskosch certainly, but in the end, it’s not saying anything much. Which pretty much makes it a perfect slacker comic I suppose.
You’ll get to meet Leeroy and Popo, watch them play computer games, watch poor, shy, introverted Leeroy obsess over the girl behind the counter at the local coffee shop, and smile as he makes a complete balls up of asking her out.
Fortunately for shy Leeroy, he’s got Popo as a constant source of helpful advice. Or maybe not:
It’s essentially a gentle, observational slacker comedy, the very small scale adventures of the pair told with a knowing smile.
There’s much more to praise in the art than there is in the story. Artistically it’s rather lovely, a really polished debut graphic novel. Story….. well, there’s not really a story here beside the two friends doing stuff, Leeroy asking a girl out and the subsequent (and ever so predictable) letdown of a date.
But despite myself, I found this working its charms on me. Yes, it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s just well done, fun stuff. The art just looks so very nice, the story just sneaks in under the radar, page after page, I kept reading, always with a slight smile on my face.
As a début it’s really impressive. Roskosch’s art makes the pages a delight, every single one. His storytelling is spot on as well, really pulling you into what could have been boring if it weren’t for the skilful way he keeps you involved. There may not be much going on in Leeroy and Popo, but trust me, that’s all part of the duo’s charm.
Interestingly it’s part of what Nobrow terms the Serial Box line. “A graphic novel project by Nobrow where individual artists are given an open ended oppotunity to embark on a journey across a set of serialised comics…. the aim is to delve deeper into a larger cast of characters and the world they inhabit”.
Now I read this as saying that Leeroy and Popo is merely the start of some sort of Nobrow world, with different artists tackling the characters and it all taking place in a shared world type thing. Interesting, if potentially a little limiting for the artists. We’ll await the next with interest.