I reviewed the first issue of Jeff last December after ZomBcon, and really enjoyed it. Recently, Creator’s Edge Press sent me the Jeff Graphic novel in pdf form, and the soundtrack which includes Seattle bands you’ve heard me talk about before, like Smokejumper and Go! Fight! Win! You’ll be able to get it from your local comic shop or order it from Diamond.
So, as I said before, in issue #1 you’re introduced to Jeff, who is normal dude, with a boring life, sucky job, no real friends. Every so often he gets gastro-intestinal distress that teleports him to this other dimension, called The Realm, where he rescues buxom maidens by dispatching (or pissing off) a monster of some sort, and then gets zapped back to reality just before his “heroic” thank you.
In the next issue you find out why Jeff keeps getting zapped to The Realm, namely the poorly pronounced spell summoning a “Chosen One” to defeat the Evil that has taken over The Realm. In finding this out, Jeff and the summoner are rescued by Aurelia, the rightful ruler of The Realm. After Aurelia is kidnapped, Jeff and the wizard who summoned him go to her rescue, Jeff has a crisis of self-confidence and after a pep talk of sorts by the summoner, kicks ass all over the place.
As I noted before, the style is reminiscent of ZAP Comix from the 60s and 70s. The helpless damsels are all blonde and buxom. Aurelia is a redhead, and somewhat less buxom, and more muscular (but still pretty conventionally hot), as well as capable. The sexism in the comic is pretty tongue in cheek, with Aurelia herself muttering about sexist assholes in one panel.
As a fan of the fart and dick jokes, I enjoyed Jeff a great deal. The dialogue rolls pretty smoothly, the fact that one of the villains is a former “Chosen One” where the spell really goofed, is hilarious. I like that Jeff’s just a dude who’s decided he’s probably crazy so he’s just going to go with it and enjoy the ride. I also really like the art style. Like I said, it reminds me of ZAP, so my love of it may be tinged with more than a little nostalgia, but I’m ok with that.
And I am laughing my ass off at the irony of reviewing this so close on the heels of reviewing The Snow Queen’s Shadow. These two things definitely have very little in common outside of me liking them a lot. Ok, not really irony, more just an odd juxtaposition. I will say I’ve been reading some pretty heavy feminist theory and history* for fun (yes, for fun) and Jeff kind of cleared my head a bit and let me laugh out loud.
So, I do recommend Jeff. However, if you’re looking for a comic that upholds feminist ideals with nary a fart or dick joke in sight, this is so not the comic for you. If you want a comic that laughs at the myth of the hero and all that other Campbellian crap, you’ll probably like it.
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*A history of the medical establishment’s view of women over the last two centuries. Trust me, ladies, if you want to be pissed off, For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women is the book for you. I’ll be reviewing it over at Polimicks, probably this weekend.