To quote the writer Ryan Bourne he “obnoxiously presents” God Hates Astronauts with Jordan Boyd and Chris Crank, delivering an immense amount of fun and complete insanity all wrapped up in a comic.
When reading this book which combines sci-fi sensibilities with a lot of themes and memes that purvey the internet currently, not to mention that is it completely off the rails in its humour and writing. To give you an idea of just how crazy this book is here are a few bullet points of the things we see in this opening issue.
- Anthropomorphic Tigers eating cheeseburgers
- Farmers in love and kissing chickens
- Horses stealing beer
- Bears in sunglasses and spandex wielding guns
- A 3-D cowboy interlude giving some exposition (its actually just a white blob with a cowboy hat rendered in old school 3-D, those of you who are old enough will remember the red and blue glasses)
- Barns turned into spaceships
I am barely scratching the surface of this book. The story concerns itself with Prince Tiger Eating Cheeseburger being killed by a group of astrofarmers in there barn space ship and the resulting fallout with NASA and the kingdom of the Crab Nebula (yes they are walking talking crab people). This leads to NASAs group of resident superheroes to stop a group of farmers trying to make their way to the moon who act more like an extremist terrorist cell than a group of mild mannered space farmers.
The book is written with such a wicked sense of humour that act times you will find yourself laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. It keeps the plot, exposition and character development thin in favour of the jokes and this benefits the comic, each scene is a chance for more hilarity and bogging a book such as this down with a heavy space opera story would only detract from the fun light hearted and in some cases downright vulgar humour that oozes from this book.
The art juxtapositions the story wonderfully, this book could have easily been rendered in an Adult Swim cartoon style but it opts for a more traditional comic book art style. This again only serves to highlight the utter absurdity of the goings on in this book, everything is bright and vibrant with incredibly clean lines and everything looks great but, when the subject matter is anthropomorphic animals and bestiality practicing farmers this highly detailed art work only serves to take you further into this insane world rather than pull the reader out of it.
A special mention must be given to the sound effects in this book. It foregoes the usual conventions of your standard sound effects in comics such as “ZZaaap” or “KKrraasshhh” instead opting for when a character is drifting out further into space in each panel the words “Lost” “In” “Space” are displayed in the panel. It’s such a simple technique but it is wonderful, these sound effects are also used to add to the comedy in this book such as when one character has their genitals stamped on, in the next panel of him rearing from such an injury the words “Dick-pain” are in the panel (childish as it may seem I was rolling around laughing at this point).
In closing God Hates Astronauts is not for everyone it is one of those books you will either love or hate from the first few pages, the humor is a lot of the time vulgar, crass and childish but, pulls it off in such a way that it can have you laughing all the way through. The writer has clearly seem comments on sites such as You-Tube and worked them into his comedy and it is pulled off with great effect that makes it relevant and a great piece of satire all wrapped up in one completely bonkers sci-fi package.
If you want to take a break from the Spandex melodrama or the usual grim fair that comics can deal with this is book for you. It’s the kind of book where you can put your feet up and laugh your ass off for 20 minutes without worrying about anything outside of the jokes and sometimes you need this kind of book.
By Matt Deery
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