Thursday, March 28, 2013
La Poubelle by Derek Baxter and Brian Canini is a comic in French. I took French in high school and remember some, so I was able to read about...50% of the words? Or maybe more. But there were a lot of gaps. I could understand, "Now I am going to kill the ninjas," toward the end, and, "I want to be rich and have sex with a whore," which someone told a lamp genie. There are a few scenes and I don't understand the relationships between them, for the most part, but there are no divisions that make me think they're not supposed to be related. So I don't know if that's my failure to fully understand the French or if the connections really are very loose.
Overall it's light and sometimes funny, like when the bull-person says, "I'm going to eat this rose," and does. Or when they're suddenly at a disco at the end. I like the beginning, which is about the way the word for poison and the word for fish are very similar in French. But the part with the dead prostitute is disturbing, and I'm clearly missing some of the jokes. "L'amour, c'est comme une etoil de mer...dur et pointu." I knew that says, "Love, it's like a star something...something and something," then looked up three words and learned it says, "Love, it's like a starfish, hard and pointy."
Overall, I think I'm not the audience for this comic. I am a big fan of graphic memoir and some non-superhero independent comics, and this one's non-superhero, but my sense of humor mostly doesn't work with the sense of humor of the creators. I'm sure lots of comics lovers would really enjoy this, though.
And I feel like I can't give a fair review since I'm not fluent in French. But lots of people aren't fluent in French, so maybe people who don't know French or who took French in school are supposed to be able to enjoy it too? Maybe the makers who sent it to me assumed I was French from my name, which I'm not. And I know I assumed that non-French speakers would be able to get something out of it since they were sending it to me without asking if I speak French. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.
The drawing is very good in a cartoon way, and I like the cover with its blues. Maybe I should have known from the name of the comics publisher, Drunken Cat Comics, that it would not match my sense of humor. I don't drink. I feel like a prude for not enjoying this more. But I want to be cool with who I am too.
Again, I think a lot of people would enjoy this, and I encourage you to get a copy of this zine if you're into this type of comic. As for me, I will pass it along to my comics-loving neighbors who work at a comic book store and probably have much broader comics tastes than my narrow ones.