Lone Racer (Top Shelf)

loneracer2In his latest, he takes on the down-and-out-hero-with-a-dream archetype and handles it with a mixture of comedy and flare borrowed from classic Hollywood movies.

 

 

 

 

92 pages color;
$12.95 (W/A:Nicolas Mahler)

Lone Racer used to be the champ, living the fast life on and off the track, winning it all. But those days of glory are gone.loneracer These days he can hardly keep up with the pack, much less that brash young star, Delli Ferolli. And with his wife in the hospital, Racer's spending most nights drinking away his sorrows down at Bar Juanjo with his old racing pals, Rubber and Irksome. But that could all change in the blink of an eye, if he could only beat that cursed Delli Ferolli.

Austrian cartoonist Nicolas Mahler has been enjoying success and recognition in his home country for some time now. His comics have been running in Austrian, German, and Swiss newspapers and magazines for nearly a decade, but it wasn't until the past few years that Top Shelf started bringing his works to American audiences. In 2003 his short story "TNT" appeared in the anthology Top Shelf Asks The Big Questions, followed up in 2004 with his own book, Van Helsing's Night Off , a mostly "silent" gag-filled homage to monster lore. It was very funny, despite being mostly overlooked.

In his latest, he takes on the down-and-out-hero-with-a-dream archetype and handles it with a mixture of comedy and flare borrowed from classic Hollywood movies. Not a whole lot of surprises, but its a cute story with charming drawings and characters. Mahler's crude style might not appeal to everyone. Its downright scribbly, but not to the extent that clarity is sacrificed. He just has a quick line and draws only enough to convey what's necessary. Lone Racer is the one with the big nose and a racer hat. Irksome is the one with the big nose and a policeman's hat, and poor Rubber, who's career was cut short by a tragic crash, is the one with tire marks across his tiny little nub of a head.

Lone Racer is a nice quick read, but it probably won't land Mahler in the spotlight just yet. Fans of Steven Weissman or classic Mad Magazine strips might appreciate it, though it isn't quite as satisfying.

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