Tuesday, May 3, 2011

31 Days of Comics #3

Dork #6
By Evan Dorkin

I never get sick of reading about the Eltingville comic book science fiction fantasy horror and role playing club, or the Northwest Comix Collective, because I always find the oblivious obnoxiousness of geeks funny, and because I get most of the jokes.

Dorkin often comes across as someone who is deeply ashamed of the amount of pop-trivia rubbish rattling around his head, but this kind of knowledge also allows him to produce some bitingly funny satire of the geek world.

None of the characters in Dork #6 show any hint of self-awareness, and this cluelessness about the abhorrent way they actually behave is what makes them so funny.

My favourite bit in the whole comic is when the Comix Collective go on a beer run and start screaming about the fact they can’t get Eightball and Underwater at the local convenience store instead of Archie and Batman and Sonic the Hedgehog, and down in the corner of a panel is a little kid enjoying the shit out of a Spider-Man comic with the thought balloon “Oh Boy. Spider-Man. I love Spider-Man.”

That bit gets me very time.

It’s impossible to pull off this kind of satire without actually being a part of it, and even though Dorkin does appear deeply ashamed of wide sections of nerd culture, he also shows every sign of once being the kind of guy who feverishly read every page of the Comics Journal and stayed awake at night wondering what would happen if Lou Ferringo and Nicholas Hammond got into a fist fight.

Dorkin might have filled his head with all sorts of trivial bullshit thanks to this misbegotten geek youth, but it also allows him to fill the page with all sorts of ephemera and minutiae, and much of it is very, very funny because of that knowledge.

The following issue of Dork is almost certainly Dorkin’s finest hour as he bleeds his soul out all over the page, but this amount of detail makes Dork #6 endlessly re-readable. These are not nice people he is creating comics about, and it is rather disconcerting to see how familiar much of their behaviour is, but they make me laugh.

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