Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Review of the Free Comic Book Day Preview of Fame: Lady Gaga OR As I Like To Call It, One Man's Descent Into Madness

Every first Saturday in May, there's an international event known as Free Comic Book Day, where comic book stores, libraries, and other locations across the globe give away comics in order to help promote literacy. The comic book shop I frequent has a big sale, and it's always a really good time. This year, however, I picked up this free comic:

I know what you're thinking. "Josh, you're the coolest guy around! You read awesome superhero comics, zombie comics, and other cool stuff! Why would you want to read a comic book about Lady Gaga?" And the answer is morbid curiosity. When you read comics from a company who made a biographical comic book about Stephenie Meyer narrated by Dracula, it's like a train wreck. You can't look away. And, I must say, this preview (only the first seven pages were about Lady Gaga; the rest was a preview of a Taylor Swift comic and a preview of a kid's book called the Puppy Sister) both amused me and terrified me to my very core.

The preview didn't center itself around Lady Gaga. We are instead introduced to our titular everyman character, Lester Bangs:

Freshman year creative writing class indeed, sir. Lester apparently spends his days wishing his music had more "pizazz" and "glam", just like every other red-blooded American male. And the life Lester lives certainly is glamorous: what with his taped in remote control batteries, his taped up ragged recliner, and his "babe" who looks like she's his mother.

Lester then bemoans the fact that musicians today aren't any fun, they aren't willing to take risks, and (a sentiment I'm fine with) wishes music was more like David Bowie, Queen, and Blondie:

As much as I love Lester's gut hanging out of what appears to be a Nietzsche t-shirt (although I doubt it's supposed to be) and his (and everyone else's) giant gorilla hands, those people behind him cannot be David Bowie, Queen, and Blondie. I'll give you the fact that the man on the left could function as a crude representation of Ziggy Stardust:

I'll even give you the fact that those Asians standing behind the woman with a mean case of man face and confused gaze might look Blondie if I squint:

But as for those "men" in the middle, nothing could convince me that they are Queen. I can't even tell which one is supposed to be Freddie Mercury:

Anyways, I digress. After this horrid attempt at homage, Lester continues to ignore his "babe" as she pleads with him to take out the trash, whilst something new on MTV catches his eye, and we see our first glimpse of Lady Gaga:

There are so many questions this image raises, I'm not even sure where to begin: Is her mask made of ice and it's melting? Is she made of ice and she's melting? Does the artist think that when people sweat their faces melt? If someone gets impaled on one of Lady Gaga's shoulder spikes, is it murder or manslaughter? What happened to her left nipple? How can she see anything with hair in her mask's eye holes? Does she always have chipmunk cheeks, or did she have some sort of dental work done? How do I get my shoulder spikes to glisten like that in the noonday sun? And so on.

Mr. Bangs, intrigued by this "Lady...Something" heads to his local record store, where, not even in her own comic book do they bother to get the name of her album right:

I don't think Lester even has a niece. There's so much wrong with this next page, I couldn't even pick one issue to point out, so I had to present it in its entirety:

Get your groove on? First of all, I doubt these kids know anything about David Bowie. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of his work, but he's not exactly a pop culture icon. Maybe they've seen Labyrinth, or know him from his cameo in Zoolander, but I doubt these kids would even recognize the name David Bowie. Second, I hate to keep harping on the artist, but look at panel two: that is not what a human arm looks like. Did the artist get their start drawing Popeye? I showed this to my wife, and she said: "It looks like the rest of him shrunk and his arm stayed the same size." Third, I think I'd probably be losing my mind too if the ghost of Lady Gaga was following me around. She's not even dead. Why does she have a ghost?

The final panel on this page is what cinches the deal, however. Not only does the man become flustered because he's being mocked by middle schoolers, he's sweating profusely. Dehydration in a matter of moments level of sweat here, people. Also, Menudo? These kids could be any older than 13. That means they were born in 1997 or later. I doubt they've heard of 80's Latin boy band Menudo (okay, so they were still around in 1997, and got back together and lasted until 2007. But I'm still doubtful of these kids having any idea who Menudo were).

Oversized hands abound on the next page as Lester walks home talking to his wife on his cellphone, while her pleas go unheard as he becomes distracted by a Lady Gaga t-shirt. Distracted to the point of knocking a helpless young woman down on the sidewalk. This is not a healthy man, folks.

Finally, Lester picks up some McDonald's on the way home, and his descent into madness is complete:Pray for Lester, folks. He needs help.

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