Society, Brian Yuzna's 1989 film and still his career high water mark, is something of an overlooked gem. It looks like a straightahead teen horror flick, but gently pulls you into its uneasy queasy setting, ultimately delivering a pretty sharp satire of Reagan-era America.
Society: Party Animal is the 2003 comics sequel to that film. It picks up Billy, the film's hero, 10 years on. He's been on the run, fighting Society whereever he found it, writing up his exploits on websites and phoning in to radio talk shows. In Party Animal, he's drawn back into Society, discovers the truth about himself, a splats a big blobby pile of flesh into pieces. Good fun stuff.
The story doesn't attempt to pull the Reaganomics satire into the 21st century, which is probably a good thing. Reaganomics, like ra-ra skirts and Woodpecker cider, is the stuff of 80s nite at your local nite-spot. Trouble is, it doesn't really replace it with anything - all we have is a straightahead story of capture, escape, capture, discovery, big blobs of flesh and escape. It does what it does well, but it all just seemed a bit thin. Perhaps a greater length would have allowed for more depth, but I'm guessing there are economic factors at work here too.
Physically these are well presented comics - rather good painted covers, colour interiors (good colouring too), American size. Unfortunately the art and lettering teams change between issues. Unforunate not because the art in either is radically better or worse than the other, but because the styles are very different and this jars rather.
There's a second Society mini-series in the works. Having reestablished the characters, I'm crossing my fingers that it'll do a bit more with them.
Both issues available at £3.45 each (inc p&p) from Rough Cut Comics, 129 Langmuirhead Road, Glasgow, G66 5DL
or online at the Rough Cut Comics website. See website for US$ and Euro pricing and shipping.