Kill Your Boyfriend

By Kaustubh Thirumalai

Monday, 08 October 2007

“People said we were evil but they missed the point again… It was just high spirits”. Thus begins the Grant Morrison (I hope he needs no introduction. Just go here and repent if you consider yourself a comic fan and don’t know who he is…) venture, Kill Your Boyfriend. What we have here is a cute little pop punkish sort’ve comic which lays off a whole lot on the pop aspect and is filled with some really dark undertones. Philip Bond (Wired World, Shade The Changing Man, Time Flies, Vimanarama) and D’Israeli (Lazarus Churchyard, Judge Dredd, Leviathan) provide the artwork for this fast paced-thriller published by Vertigo.

Troublesome, roguish boy who gives a fuck about society. Studious girl who leads an uneventful life…. No, these are not the lyrics to a Blink 182 song nor is it the translation of a tagline from a Kannada movie (though it could be!); but this is a good enough introduction to the two main characters of the graphic novel. Yeah, so… Good girl meets bad boy, and sparks in the form of drugs, booze, sex, anarchy and pivotally, murder ensue.

After a particularly long day, involving an argument with her parents, our heroine runs away from home in a highly fustian fashion. Trying to seek out some adventure in her life, she roams the streets without a care. Finally she meets Pippa Huxley (a Robert Browning reference perhaps?), the guy your mother didn’t even feel the need to warn you about cause she was so sure you’d never walk the same path as him. As is natural in these cases, the bad influence is always more prominent than the so called ‘good’ influences – she starts drinking, doing drugs and fucks like an animal(rather than him taking up poetry, baking and playing lawn tennis perhaps). Anyhow, after a lot of Commie Vodka (there’s a hammer and a sickle on the vodka bottle heh), they embark upon the masterly plan to kill her boyfriend, who she is sick and tired of (thereby justifying the cringingly emo title of the comic)… The geek boyfriend finds himself blown to smithereens just as he is about to masturbate to animal porn (way cool!). This is just the start to the tirade that the duo now spews forth. They go on a killing spree which made me think of this comic as a teenage-British version of Natural Born Killers. After a long, drug-induced, sex trip, they find themselves without money and hitchhiking. They hop aboard a double-decker bus and find themselves amongst a group of like-minded anarchists. Here’s where Grant Morrison puts on his thinking cap, and actually takes the story via a thrilling crescendo to a satisfying finish, complete with cakes, sex on a casket, suicide bombing, and incest.

Until a certain point this could’ve easily been written off as one of the many Tarantino-inspired comics (most of them utterly dreary), but Morrison does a real good job steering it out of that path and ensures that he treads into uncharted territory. He explains that the only model he had for the story was the Martin Sheen starrer, Badlands (incorrectly stated as ‘Heartland’ by Morrison lol). The artwork fits quite well with the story. I didn’t like it as much as I liked the story though. And that too with two artists, I expected better. But it wasn’t bad, at all. Recommended.

Recommended Music:

I went for sleaze. Worked well. GnR, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Faster Pussycat.