Kill Your Boyfriend
By: J.R. McNamara on February 19, 2009  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Cover Art
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Philip Bond, D'Israeli
Publisher: DC Comics
I am going to throw my verdict of this comic at you first: this is easily one of the top five comics ever created.

Yes, you read that right. Kill Your Boyfriend is one of the top five comics ever created… and in actual fact, I believe it may be the greatest ever one-shot comic to ever… and I mean EVER grace the shelves of your local comic book store.

Why do I want to give you the verdict first? Well I am afraid that my love of this tale of murder, sex and mayhem may eventually turn into some sort of fanboy gushing that I may one day be embarrassed about, so if you wish to read the opening comment and the score below and think that's all you need to know… please, go ahead and leave this internet page, and go and purchase a copy of this graphic novel immediately. I promise you won't be disappointed!!

If you have chosen to stay for the humiliation… welcome!

Kill Your Boyfriend was originally published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint, in 1995 and has since been reprinted twice, this review being of the latest reprint, the October 2008 one, which also features an afterward by Grant Morrison and a fortune teller (you know the origami ones you used to make as a kid?) but this one has options such as 'Be Like Your Parents' or 'Tongue-bathe Your Dad'. To be honest I can't decide which is the more disgusting!!

Kill Your Boyfriend tells of a British schoolgirl who is living the life that is expected of her: good grades, a decent, honest 'nice' boyfriend, and typical parents, until her life is turned upside-down when she meets a miscreant on the bus home from school. Starting with alcohol and the cold blooded murder of her boyfriend, her life is completely changed by this anarchist who introduces her to drugs, sex and murder, and their whirlwind affair has many twists and turns as they squeeze the soft flesh of the average suburban lifestyle, and its rotten secrets dribble out between their fingers.

In cinematic terms, this comic is like a gumbo of Pulp Fiction, Heathers, Fight Club and American Beauty - maybe not so much in content, but certainly at some points in tone, and maybe also in its message. Author Grant Morrison himself says the tale was influenced by the film Heartland, which was based on the killings performed by Charles Starkweather, and Martin Sheen's performance in said film. One of the things I really like the most about this comic is how easy the reader assimilates with the female lead. Is it because she converses directly to the reader as if we are some kind of unseen confessional, or perhaps her conscience… or is it because we ourselves are so oppressed in OUR lives that to break out and just do what you want causes bucket loads of sweet sticky envy?

Morrison was introduced to the USA, and comic fandom, as a part of the 'British Wave' of writers, along with Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, and initially wrote for Vertigo's Animal Man, and before that for British publications Starblazer and Warrior, along with 2000AD, where he co-created Zenith, a much-acclaimed 'superhero' story that is so much more. Morrison has worked on many titles for US based comic companies, such as Justice League of America, WE3 and Seaguy (don't call him Seaman) and usually to some acclaim, and he also gained notoriety outside the world of comics for his scripting on the mucho-controversial, un-PC (and ever so slightly hilarious) Big Dave, again for 2000AD.

Artist Philip Bond is a fave of mine, and I adore his artwork in this comic. Bond's artwork is reminiscent of Jamie Hewlett's, who he co-created Tank Girl and the Gorillaz with, but is slightly more based in reality, rather than the extreme physics of Hewlett's. His artwork in this tale is almost tender, and suits the tale completely. Any artist who was more superhero based would perhaps make the characters too perfect, instead of grounding them in a slight, albeit caricature-like reality. D'isreali's inking is bang on as well, and kicks the art right out of the ballpark.

So welcome my friends, to a wonderful world of anarchy, try-hards, sodomy and terrorism. Hope you survive your partner's cooking.
Movie Score
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