Welcome to my new Monday column where I review/discuss comic books. From the classics to modern marvels to current releases, I will be regularly discussing my opinions of a title in my physical collection or that I have recently read digitally. I will be covering everything from main stream to independent and even obscure titles.
This week I am starting with a recent release titled Airboy.
Title – Airboy #1
Publisher – Image Comics
Writer – James Robinson
Artist – Greg Hinkle
Genre – Mature/Semi-autobiographical
Airboy debuted with a June cover date this year and caught my attention with a great cover that featured super heroic imagery of the title character juxtaposed with imagery based on a depressing reality.
I am listing this title as semi-autobiographical because I do not want to believe that the writer, James Robinson, is that deplorable of a human being and simply falls into the category of artist/creator who spends more time than they should in a state of self-loathing.
It begins with our writer/lead character getting a writing gig from the publisher of Image Comics to resurrect a classic character called Airboy. Mr. Robinson has been in a creative rut and is having a difficult time getting out of it and with coercing decides to take the gig. Soon he gets his artist, the very real Greg Hinkle, and they begin the process of trying to re-launch Airboy. They both find themselves not having a clue what to do with this character so James decides they should have a night out on the town of debauchery to get the creative juices flowing. Drugs, booze , and sex reign supreme and after a crazy night of all of the above, the first issue ends with Airboy suddenly appearing in front of them as a flesh and blood human being.
To say this tile is mature is an understatement. Plenty of nudity, sex, and explicit drug use are starkly presented by the artist Hinkle in a way that is quite graphic, but not offensive. Mind you, I am not easily offended, but I do feel that even if you are, the scenes depicted in this book are done is such a lightly humorous way that it does not feel exploitative and just a way of marketing your title as ‘adults only’. Greg Hinkle’s art is unique and appealing in a way that makes you want to check every detail on every page even when it is not something that is normally appealing to sane eyes.
James Robinson’s writing is so sharp, witty, and self deprecating that you cannot wait to read what happens on the next page and in the next issue. Even if the way he depicts himself in the book is more true than not you still find yourself not being able to hate the guy and sympathizing with where he is in his life. He is human and very flawed which is true of all of us, maybe just without the drugs and random sex.
If you are of an adult persuasion and looking for a break from superheroes and the standard comic book fare then this title is definitely for you. With great, interesting art and smart writing this is a monthly title I do not want to miss and cannot wait for each subsequent issue to hit store shelves.