Biff-Bam-Pow! #1 (Amaze Ink/SLG Publishing)

biff-pow-header.jpgA look at this collection of all-ages tales from Sarah Dyer and Milk & Cheese creator Evan Dorkin.

 

 

24 pgs. B&W; $2.95

(W: Sarah Dyer; A: Evan Dorkin)

 

Biff-Bam-Pow! is no Milk & Cheese. Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer’s collection of (mostly) previously published comics for kids is, unlike Dorkin’s caustically hilarious M&C, a pretty mild snack.

The main entry, "The Fight of the Millennium," concerns a boxing match between our heroine, One Punch Goldberg, and a much bigger and uglier hunk of beef named Otto von Ripsnort. Thugs try to pay off Goldberg to throw the fight, but she’s not having it. She has to dodge the (literal) gorillas of the criminal underworld before, during, and after a match against her Goliath of an opponent.

The cover to Biff-Bam-Pow! #1. Click for a larger image.Evan Dorkin’s expressive art, with its thick black lines just right for child readers, is cute, cute, cute. Cute people, adorable monkeys, cute rockets and hovercars, silly talking wrenches, and all manner of cute monsters fill out these tales.

Some comics like, say, a lot of the stuff you’ll find in MAD Magazine or Joann Sfar’s stuff or even Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece, are charming for kids and adults alike. It’s a neat trick that makes bedtime reading a treat for all parties in bed. I wish I could say the same for Biff-Bam-Pow!, but like a round of duck-duck-goose, this is strictly for the kiddies.

Eight-year-olds might just love stories like "Nutsy Monkey," a two-page tidbit reprinted from a 2001 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. It’s about a monkey who puts on a monster mask and terrorizes a town. Similarly, they might also dig "Kid Blastoff vs. Smartypants!" a tale of superheroes and villains that’s more cute than it is anything else. I really can’t offer much more. I think we need an eight-year-old reviewer here at Playback. We could pay him or her with Blow-Pops and those terrifying-looking Nerf guns.

In the "Kid Blastoff" tale, there is one moment of rare humor. An angry janitor recounts the frustrations that lead him to supervillainy: "But society denied me greatness—simply because I hadn’t any education or credentials, and a history of severe mental illness!"

It’s a good line. I wanted more good lines from this book, but I’m not in any position to argue—I’m too old/jaded for sweet and gentle. I guess I was just a bit surprised that Evan "Milk & Cheese" Dorkin apparently isn’t. | Byron Kerman

 

Check out more from Dyer and Dorkin at http://www.houseoffun.com/!

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