Thursday, 25 May 2017

Outburst by Pieter Coudyzer Review

I do enjoy me some sad bastard comics now and then but Pieter Coudyzer’s debut Outburst was a bit too depressing even for me!

Tom is your stereotypical nerd who gets stereotypically bullied by stereotypical bullies. Except, during a school trip to the woods, Tom is separated from his classmates and undergoes a startling metamorphosis: he’s slowly becoming tree-like! 

I think I understand what Coudyzer’s dark fairy tale is about: repressing your feelings leads to misery and ultimately destruction, expressing yourself is deeply important, you should embrace your differences and who you are, and if you fail to make choices and act passively in your life you make yourself unhappy. 

All of which is laudable - definitely nobody be like Tom! - but unfortunately the story surrounding these messages is drab and uninteresting. It’s your standard sad bastard comic with an unremarkable protagonist doing gloomy slice-of-life stuff; the magical realism is the only thing different and it’s not that unique really - the ending is reminiscent of a scene early on in Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Also, the art is smudgy and unappealing. 

Outburst was too much of a downer to enjoy in the least and what it offers isn’t enough to recommend it - for seriously miserable sad sacks only!

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