Friday, July 6, 2018

Kid Lobotomy, Volume 1: A Lad Insane

 Old-school Vertigo Weirdness.

   Peter Milligan's SHADE THE CHANGING MAN was a must-read book back in my younger days, and his X-FORCE run is a subversive legend, but as I've grown older, I've lost touch with his work. Therefore, I was very excited when I was offered a review copy of his latest, KID LOBOTOMY, VOLUME 1: A LAD INSANE. Would the old Milligan magic strike again...?

 Offhand, I would say that the answer is yes, but with a qualifier. While Milligan's aim was as true as ever, it appears that the target has moved. I'm not as young as I used to be, and my tolerance for weird-for-the-sake-of-weirdness stream-of consciousness comics has been greatly reduced since those early Vertigo days.

 The story, such as it is, revolves around a seedy hotel owned by Big Daddy. He passes it down to his son, Kid Lobotomy, and his daughter becomes jealous and attempts to steal it back from her brother. Oh, Kid and his sister have an incestuous relationship. On, and Kid can turn into a giant cockroach. Oh, yeah, the hotel's maid is a shape-changer. Did I mention that the hotel is haunted by Kid's murdered uncle? Or that There are two little dead twins who also roam the premises? Weird enough for ya?

 Probably a little too weird for me.

 Milligan is a talented storyteller; As evidence of that, I will say that I kept reading, even though I had no clue what any of this was meant to mean. The King Lear and Franz Kafka references hit fast and hard and often, but all of these literary allusions don't add up to a coherent story, and, as Roger Murtaugh has famously said, "I'm getting too old for this $#!+."

 Black Crown/IDW have created a beautiful book: From Tess Fowler's clean, attractive artwork to the colors to the paper that it is printed on, KID LOBOTOMY is a pleasure to look at and hold...I just wish that it had more of a story to back up the attractive package. I mildly enjoyed reading this first volume, but I doubt that I would pay to read any more of Kid's exploits.

 Black Crown/IDW provided a review copy.

 KID LOBOTOMY, VOLUME 1: A LAD INSANE earns six out of ten seedy hotels:

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