Laptop Guy – Season 1: Fries With That?
By Jack Lothian, Sha Nazir, Colin Bell, Mark Boyle, Ludwig Olimba, Gregg Watt
Take a guy, dead end job, life going nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Worse than nowhere. Trapped along with the other dumb schmucks nursing their McJobs whilst hoping for something better to come their way. There’s a writer, a jewellery maker, a DJ. Every failed creative in town…. as David & Bacharach once wrote…
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas
Except this isn’t San Jose, this is Glasgow. And the star that never was? he’s a failed artist with an idea for a comic, who just happens to have the same name as the artist of this comic. Strange huh?
And strange as that may seem, things just get stranger, more confused, more difficult for all concerned. There’s a comic book character who doesn’t want to be forgotten, a troublesome obsession, and next thing he knows, artist Sha Nazir is having Harvey-esque moments, with his comic creation taking the place of a giant rabbit… or a friendly tiger…. just like this…
Poor Sha. But in some ways it’s no wonder. Everything around him is falling apart, and much of it is Sha’s fault… from the ‘accident’ at work where the failed writer colleague who just might have a claim on the whole Laptop Guy concept loses an arm (well, cuts it off with an electric carving knife due to his despair over the book being utter shite), to Sha somehow convincing the boss’s fiance that he’s dying, the only excuse he could think of when she catches in the hospital stealing the failed writer’s arm back. And then there’s his accidental convincing the boss that he should break off the relationship and do something wild. Or when the other idea for a comic is completely ripped off by a dodgy publisher. You get the idea?
Sha is, frankly, a disaster magnet.
But he’s a disaster magnet with a print run of a new comic that’s taken his entire life savings.
Oh, and he’s a disaster magnet with an imaginary friend…
Yeah, because that helps.
All honesty, I started this really not expecting to like it as much as I did. The first few pages come off as whiny, predictable stuff. And the art just looks too rough and ready round the edges. But then a rhythm kicks in, a flow develops and what do you know, it heads from predictable to not so much, from whiny to miserablist entertainment, the art gets better, the ideas come good, the dialogue turns cynical, nasty and works so much better.
Alex Robinson’s Box Office Poison comes to mind, just more unrelentingly grim. Seriously, this isn’t one to go searching for the happy ending, it’s not going to happen. At least I hope not, there’s far too much fun to be had revelling in Sha’s predicament, spiralling further and further down…
You can get hold of Laptop Guy from the Black Hearted Press site.