By Jon Chandler
In Boobytrap#1 we find the creator Ripper the Fuckin’ Elephant (a.k.a. ink stud, Jon Chandler) mauled and abused by his many creations: Pussyfoot and Johnny Claws from the ‘Anti-Bad league’, Larry Fearnes and Particle Man. Y’see Ripper loves and needs these cartoon friends (even Black Metal Claws, the dork) even though they’ll violently turn on him if he tries to ever write them out of future comics.
So when I discover that the hero of Boobytrap#2 is Bob Log, a musical legend who rides an oversized trike and wears a helmet with a telephone ‘trunk’ affixed to it, I was inclined to think him another of Jon Chandler’s creations. But no, it seems I missed out on this musical phenomena, something that must be remedied. Bob Log by cartoon standards alone fucking rocks!
Over 32 pages Bob Log rides and slides through aquatic and desert adventures encountering many of Chandler’s plucky characters (including Black Metal Claws who stabs Bob in the back and then goes home to watch Magnum whilst waiting for the cops!) and various bitey reptiles.
Amongst the japery is a 4 page autobiographical story relating how Jon/Ripper came to discover the music of ‘Doo Rag’ and Bob Log. By turns eerily realistic (I now realize that the ex-boyfriend I’d wryly observe taping and then eternally re-editing his Peel Session tapes off the radio, was just one scrappy soldier in a whole army of stay-home, obscure music fan-boys…sigh!) and hilarious: The magic of Ripper shyly approaching his hero wielding a copy of Boobytrap#1, then accidentally slapping Bob Log’s backside, isn’t lost on this reader.
Chandler employs multiple drawing styles over the course of the comic. We get detailed and fluid Bob Log adventures to the looser and more energetic Ripper the Fuckin’ Elephant autobiography. At times it’s reminiscent of Dan Clowes’ Lloyd Llewellyn cube-y style, and then sometimes just helmet-wearing stick figures. The artist knows what he’s doing with each style and for the reader, each one is as enjoyable as the next. And throughout most of the drawing here there’s a kind of musculature that is too hard to describe without using the term ‘penis wielder’, so I’ll move on.
What can I say? This is a great, great comic. Chandler’s a pure cartoonist and Boobytrap#2 seems so effortless it belies the effort and practice it takes to get this good. It’s really exciting to find underground talent like this as Chandler is ahead of his peers. The only apt comparison would be Ireland’s Bob Byrne and his comic ‘Mbleh’, in terms of writing, accomplished art and unique worldview that’s both mystifying and engaging. More, dammit!
£2.25, US comic size, 32 Pages B+W, Colour Cover
or from the author:
Jon Chandler, 3 Ball Charlie's Motor Exchange, 14 Mill Hill Est, Aldringham, Leiston, Suffolf, IP16 4QB