Sunday, 6 July 2014

Journey Into Mysterious Comics #2: Jeffery Fisch Boy Review (Jake Lava)

Each week we read comics we know and love – that’s why we read them! But what about the scores of other comics that get published that we don’t read? In Journey Into Mysterious Comics, I’ll pick up a random comic I know nothing about each week and review it. Maybe I’ll strike gold and find a great new title to follow, maybe I won’t – but I live in hope!

Join me each week as we… Journey Into Mysterious Comics! 

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High school’s a tough time. Sometimes when you fall for a cute girl, you can wind up killing a fish god and get cursed to look like a fish and then your music teacher, when taking the class out on a boat trip to team build, will suddenly start beating on you - you know, the usual teenager stuff? 

Jake Lava’s Jeffery Fisch Boy is an hysterical and wonderfully weird indie comic whose lovesick protagonist accidentally kills a talking fish and then curses him to look like a fish - but only sometimes. And those times are totally random. And there’s absolutely no benefit unless he’s fighting his crazy, and ripped, music teacher. Which was once. 

There’s also a lot of love for Japanese culture as Jeffery’s bestie is obsessed with it. I’ve read my share of manga and seen plenty of anime, and I’m half-Japanese and have lived in Japan, but I’m not as obsessed with the culture so a lot of those references were over my head (otaku friend? Miku?). 

As you might tell from how I’ve described it so far, this comic delights in being odd and whacky. It blends in exaggerated moments of teen angst with fantastical elements like magical creatures and throws in scenes that don’t even attempt to make sense like his music teacher suddenly becoming the antagonist for no reason. And I loved it! Jeffery Fisch Boy is so funny and it’s so much fun to read. 

Like the scene where Jeffery gets flustered talking to Steph Annie and blurts out “DO YOU LIKE EMO MUSIC!?” or when the fish god curses him and the caption reads “FUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU!”. And the music teacher Mr Cadre is a genius creation - every scene he’s in is hilarious and I loved the smugness with which he delivered his lines. 

Student: But sir, what does fishing have to do with music?
Mr Cadre: That’s easy. Everything.
Student: Could you elaborate, sir?
Mr Cadre: Just go home, Jimmy.
Student: (rowing away) My name is Lenny...

I can’t believe this is the first time I’m reading something by this creator - he should be working for one of the bigger comics publishers, or at least getting his work out via Nobrow, SelfMadeHero or Jonathan Cape! As it is, I discovered this self-published gem in Excelsior Comics in Bristol but it’s also available digitally at https://gumroad.com/l/uiemn so if you’ve got 99p burning a hole in your digital wallet, give this comic a shot! 



I was impressed with the production values of the comic. It’s not some photocopied, stapled together mess but professionally printed up with high quality paper, a lovely cover, and the black and white images are really sharp. I also liked the lettering which was top notch and clear - something that isn’t always the case with self-published comics. 

It you’re in the Bristol area, stop by Excelsior and pick up a copy or check it out digitally - honestly, it’s worth it! I really enjoyed Jeffery Fisch Boy and wish all romantic comedies were this creative - great comic, Jake Lava! 

Check out Jake’s website: thefloorisnowlava.net for more of his work.

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