Maybe it’s not fair to review Post-Apocalypto as a comic alone, since this latest effort from Jack Black and Kyle Gass in their Tenacious D roles is actually a multi-media event of sorts, encompassing a six-episode animated You Tube series, an audiobook, a musical album. and the hardback graphic novel published by Fantagraphics that’s under our metaphorical microscope here, but hey — I don’t want to be at this all night, and since comics is what we do here, we’re gonna keep it to that. Which pleases me to no end.
Even still, before any fans of Black, Gass, or their ostensible “band” jump down my throat, understand this : it’s not that I actively disliked this in and of itself so much as I have no patience for “edgelord” crap in a more general sense. There’s certainly a place in this world for such things, and there’s a strong argument to be made for the point of view that if you’re gonna crank out lowest-common-denominator stuff, you might as well be upfront about it, as this is — but at the same time, dismissive and perhaps overly-reductive as it sounds, unless you catch me in exactly the right mood, “hijinks ensue” is not, in and of itself, enough to get the job done for this critic. And “hijinks ensue” isn’t just a fair summation of Post-Apocalypto, it’s the book’s entire raison d’etre.
That being said, if Hollywood millionaires are gonna be, well, Hollywood millionaires, it’s nice to see them at least earn their keep, and Gass and Black do seem to have put a fair amount of effort into this project, with the two of them collaborating on the writing and Black drawing the book himself. It’s not particularly strong or distinctive cartooning, but it’s perfectly functional, and relatively non-taxing to look at — but yes, that’s damning with faint praise, and I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s really nothing on offer here that’s not been done both before and better, that’s for certain, and while the idea of the members of the “World’s Greatest Rock Band” surviving an H-Bomb attack by hiding in a sturdy old refrigerator and then having to battle their way through a wasteland full of mutants, survive an outer space adventure, visit the White House, and make use of a time machine they can’t really figure out in order to save the world from its own fate probably does sound good if you’re fucked up on just the right combination of pot, Mountain Dew, and Little Caesar’s, the other 99% of the time most of what goes down in this comic should, hopefully, just work a person’s nerves to no end.
Unless I just described the general state of your existence all the time, in which case — congratulations on the finding the perfect book! I swear, I’m not here to judge — except, okay, I am.
Obviously there’s something very “Adult Swim” about this whole thing, and that something is everything. I’ll be the first to admit I’m more than a bit of an old crank, but even when I was in my 20s a little bit of hipster humor went a long way, and this is 180 pages of nothing but hipster humor (along with a download code for a read-along audiobook that I haven’t bothered with), and hipster humor that I absorbed fully sober at that, so — yeah. I trust you see the problem here. There’s a target market for this kind of thing, and yours truly just isn’t a part of it.
All of which is to say : if you’re a fan of Black and/or Gass, or this sounds like the kind of thing you’d get a kick out of, then I imagine it really will be right up your alley. And I’m probably not the right person to attempt to review it in the first place. But what can I say? I enjoy a challenge — and I found getting through to the end of this book to be very challenging indeed.
Review wrist check – Raven “Solitude” gray dial model riding a Zodiac caoutchouc rubber NATO-style field strap in burnt orange.
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