14th Sep2015

‘Mutafukaz’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written and Drawn by RUN | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Hardback, 120pp

muta-cover

Well this was a little bit different, as I knew it would be when I saw the ‘Disapproved by the Comics Code Authority’ gag logo on the cover, and a quote from the good Dr Wertham inside. (if you don’t know your comics history, look him up). The intro piece at the beginning about how the comic came to be is also pretty interesting reading too. Mutafukaz (see what he did there…) is apparently a huge thing in France, and Titan Comics have now brought it to our shores. Writer/ Artist RUN (he works under his tag) wanted to combine some very diverse interests into his comic, such as pulp fiction, classic sci-fi and bits of Latino culture to name a few, that weren’t to be found elsewhere.

The hero of the book is slacker Angelino, who lives an ordinary life in, er, Dark Meat City. One night, distracted by an attractive women while riding his scooter, he has a bad crash. Following this his previously ordinary life radically changes as he starts to see and hear strange things all around him, monsters, aliens etc. Are they real? is he brain damaged? That is what we are to find out…This all gives a pretty conventional description of a very unconventional book.

A conventional review probably doesn’t fully do Mutafukaz justice, as it is just so strange, so different, so unique. The overriding plot and story, such as it is, can be bizarre enough but literally every panel overflows with funny dialogue and sight gags. Imagine an even more mad version of Ren & Stimpy and you are some way there to an understanding of just how madcap the world of Dark Meat City is. It is an assault on the senses that does not give up the entire length of the book.

For me though, unfortunately, it was an assault on the senses that stayed around for rather too long. It was a single joke, albeit at times a pretty funny one, stretched out very thinly across many pages. Every page was imploring me to laugh at just how funny it was, how zany and crazy, and by the books end my smile was little more than a forced one. It is not a bad book as such, there will certainly be an audience out there for it, but it is not a book that will satisfy the majority of comic readers. It lacks plot, focus, direction, and is not quite as funny as it thinks it is. The ‘hundred miles an hour’ style simply cannot sustain an entire issue, let alone a collected edition such as this.

Am I just an old grump? Perhaps. I like many different styles of books but this just didn’t work for me. Visually interesting for sure, and some good jokes in there, but as an entire piece of work I found it wanting. One for the kids methinks.

** 2/5

Mutafukaz is released by Titan Comics on September 30th.

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