by Jeffrey Brown
(Top Shelf, 2004)

Some youngsters who love comic books try to "make" one by drawing on copy paper and stapling the pages together. Some even add color to their comic book. When they discover the amount of work required, or that they have little talent, most abandon even the idea of producing a second issue.

But one drew Bighead.

That isn't a fair statement. Although Bighead looks like such an amateur attempt, it is actually something more. It is an extremely convincing mock amateur attempt, with the cartoonist's tongue firmly in cheek. It isn't hand drawn on copy paper, either!

The first question that may leap to your razor-sharp mind is, "Is the artist's crude, scratchy style intentional or just the best he can do?" If it works, do you care?

The second question alive and wiggling between your ears may be, "Do the artist's plot, dialogue and characterizations justify the price of admission?" Both visually and through its prose, Bighead is a satire and parody of the nuances of the superhero genre. Don't expect heavy-handed, bald-faced jokes. Expect things like this: After literally tripping up a villain with super speed, Bighead says, "Sorry, Racecar, but nobody's fast enough to outrun justice!" Oh, and expect villain monikers like Smallhead, Bullman, Rocket Guy, Gigantico and Girl-Hair.

Surely, you're getting the idea now.

Then my work here is done. It is worth the price of admission. Bighead is recommended.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 12 February 2005

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