The AUTEUR: SISTER BAMBI #2 (of 5)
“Writer’s C**k!” (22 pages)
Story by: Rick Spears
Art by: James Callahan
Colors by: Luigi Anderson
Letters by: Sick Rears
Design by: Jason Storey
Publisher: Oni Press
Cover Price: $3.99
WARNING!! This book is not meant for individuals under the age of 18. There. I’ve thrown in the disclaimer. Seriously though, this is vulgar to the extreme!! I’m no prude by any means. In fact, I’ll admit I’m a potty-mouth. However, I was quite nervous to review this not only for the content but the images. I had to run this by my editor. There were very few shots I was able to scan that wouldn’t upset anyone nor rile religious groups nor create riots. On that note, this book was f***ing hi-larious!! I couldn’t stop chuckling nor giggling. I was reading this at a Starbucks. I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice if others were gawking at me or thinking I just checked out of the looney bin.
Before I continue, I’ve never had the privilege of perusing an Oni Press title until now!! After I read this from cover to cover, I was looking for a rating on a label at the front or back. Nope!! It wasn’t until I spotted it at the bottom right of the credits page behind the front cover. That’s real sly of you, Oni Press ;-)) Now, for the nitty-gritty.
One million years ago before Christ, a Cro-Magnon tries his hand at cave painting. He adds some circles to a female stick figure and the result is uproarious! What’s the connection? Figure it out!
Movie mogul Nathan T. Rex is in a creative slump. Major. Even though the next production has been planned, the script is severely lacking. Away he goes with his whole damn crew to Kapala, a remote island in the Pacific. The unofficial ambassador greets the Caucasians. Nothing is free in this life. He reminds Nathan of compensation, legitimate and otherwise. Nathan remunerates him with white powder. All Kapalese citizens are at Nathan’s disposal, most of them unsavoury individuals.
Writers find inspiration in the most unusual ways. Nathan asks about some ghost writers. Richardson, the Kamalan rep, informs him that there is a script doctor able to assist. Flashbacking to just before arriving at the island, Nate consults the Buddha Hitch. He has to resolve the issue of recasting the female lead. Damage control. He must plead and beg with his original choice in co-star.
Speaking of which, the new lead, Nate’s main squeeze is high maintenance. Coconut complains about the enormous effort she’ll have to put into immersing herself in the role of Sister Bambi. Nate throws her a compliment and she aggressively reels him in and plants one on his lips. That’s one sure way to ensure job security!! To keep in top shape, she’s ready to engage in vigorous (s)exercise. Coco is dismayed that Nate is less than enthusiastic. Stanislavski grabs him in the nick of time to show a most curious find — giant low hanging fruit in a massive sac. When Nate pokes it with his stick [*snort*]…a roar resounds through the jungle. Yep, you guessed it. They are testes belonging to a giant gorilla.
The ape attacks in a fit of rage. Nate chastises exec producer Ilsa for overstepping her authority. She is snatched. Stan goes into full warrior mode. He hacks off a thumb. He too is grabbed. He defies the primate to do what comes next: swallow him. Nate smashes some teeth before he descends the esophagus and drowns in bile.
Nate wanders off to cajole Coconut. He apologizes to her for casting her aside. He was roped/blackmailed/coerced into making Ilsa the star. Nate assures her equal footing and admits that his film is a crappy exploitation piece. He even justifies his decision by saying he’s doing her a great service by protecting herself from some horrendous things. He plays the ‘I’m not worthy’ card before Coconut responds in kind by throwing the hard-shell fruit. It lands square on his head. Fade to black.
The other scene goes from black to back. Stan finds an extreme exit from the ape’s interior. The beast has been beaten. Stan goes berserk and bathes in blood to assure victory and to shake off the traumatic experience.
The natives take Nate to the script doctor. That’s convenient, or highly coincidental. Either way, there’s no being cooked alive in a cauldron. The doctor takes him on a vision quest, heavily influenced. The doc gets all philosophical on him. Basically, Nate has to acknowledge his subconscious to let the ideas flow freely. He also has to follow his heart and be truthful. The face painting begins. Nate interrupts with his cynicism.
He is so desperate for a quick fix that he doesn’t want to exert any effort. The session is concluded. Magic master informs Nate that his fanny is on fire. OK, so I lied. C’mon!! What else to expect from savages?
Nate has the appropriate freak-out and runs like the wind. Look before you leap, I always say. He finds himself in the same situation as Wile E. Coyote – impromptu cliff jumping. Through the most absurd saving method, his scream creates a giant floating device that he’s able to latch on to. A native’s spear deflates that situation. Into the water he falls.
What’s your position? Kapala Island really does exist!! It’s an island of Malaysia. The proper spelling is Kapalai. There is a tourist site: http://coolnaturalworld.com/kapala-island-malaysia-the-worlds-most-exotic-islands/ The coordinates indicate India. The caption states Sumatra. Meh, who needs accuracy?
Know your history: Speaking off…the caveman did not exist in 1,000,000 B.C. That’s ahistorical. Again, meh. It’s fiction, baby!
Funky Buddha: That ain’t no real deity!!
Banana republic: Not the clothing store! The poli-sci term.
Hominoideaphobia or Ape-o-gyny: Stan utters the phrase “Damn dirty ape” from Charlton Heston’s vehement vocals in Planet of the Apes.
Word balloon: So clever it bears repeating!! It is the physical manifestation of Nate’s unlikely saving device.
The laugh tracks came naturally to me. Once again, I dove blindly into a book that exceeded my wildest expectations. I read this without referring to the first issue but eventually had to see how the outrageousness originated. That particular offering would offend a certain group of individuals. That’s all I’m gonna say.
It’s in front of your face that this is spoofing the Hollywood industry but more importantly, a pastiche of King Kong with ‘Skull Island’ and the big-ass baboon ready to exact his revenge on humankind. Nate is Jack Driscoll, Stan is Carl Denham and Ilsa is Ann Darrow. She pulls the Faye Wray scream quite well. Rick Spears has a devious debauched sense of humour. As I stated earlier, I’m nowhere near prissy but I had to censor myself for this review. I’m doing this title a service – pick it up to fully understand my insinuations. He’s not clean-cut in the least!! That’s an excellent counter-balance to his past contributions at DC and Marvel. He started out indie but has been a fixture at Oni for some time. His humour and wit cut through the crap that cultural institutions feed us.
James Callahan is experimental in his work. The symmetrical panels create mood and progressive reading. The diagonals create visual interest. The horizontals are restful and stabilized. The verticals provide different POVs: bird’s-eye, worm’s eye, and the ‘flat’ eye level. I especially remarked the bottle-shaped panel when Stan plops into the pit. Another noteworthy feat is the actual breaking of the panel (more like a snap, really) on page 13 between the second and third. Ingenious!! His characters are grotesque representations of humanity. Their exterior appearance is degradation made flesh. None of these people are innocent nor do they have any redeeming qualities.
Luigi Anderson’s techniques diversify. I noticed the black borders for the caveman’s innovation, the ape’s ingestion, and Nate’s trip [pun intended!] to the script doctor. I am not going to point out the use. I will say that it’s a welcome break from the traditional white. The colour green highlights the dire strait that Stan is in when he fails to stay buoyant. Mr. Anderson also utilizes ‘hair light’ whilst Nate partakes in the potion. Gradient fill paints the most beautiful skyscape and demonstrates Nate’s entry into an altered state.
A big pat on the back for Sick Rears. That even a real name/person?? The rearranging of letters for Rick Spear’s alias is a little too evident. Either way, this (wo)man produces the most bombastic sound effects. The ‘ROAR’ has to be big enough to reflect its gigantic source. The same goes for an illegal action involving an anything-but-over-the-counter remedy. The ultimate is the word balloon [literally!]. I got it immediately!! To my knowledge, that has never been done before.
Now that I’ve entered this messed-up world of a craven [not the Hunter ;-P] man resembling the most hated human in history, I have to follow up! Consarnit!! I curse you for hooking you, gentlemen! Instead of giving this two thumbs up, I’ll say eight fingers and one thumb. [Do the math]. The other thumb was lost when Stan sliced it B_)))