COLA MADNESS

Gary Panter, Author . Funny Garbage Press $24.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-9701626-0-1

Legendary underground cartoonist Panter's comics are typically anarchic and fun, but they also delve deeper. First produced in 1983, Cola Madness is published here in book form for the first time. The work stars Jimbo, Panter's enduring punk everyman, sharing billing with a cast of idiosyncratic characters including Bob War; his calamitous brother, Uncle Garcia, a smart-talking dinosaur and beleaguered guardian in a bathrobe; and Kokomo, a native in an unspecified tropical land colonized by oil companies. Posited as the hallucinatory fever dream of Kokomo, Panter's farce follows Jimbo's misadventures as he tries to get a Moka Cola at the local Jack-in-the-McTacos, the whole zany affair culminating in an absurd, scatological climax at an automated fast food restaurant. Panter delivers a visionary response to contemporary American life viewed through the wrong end of some cosmic telescope. This delightfully inane story offers a selection of Panter's themes: humanity's troubled relationship with nature and technology; the tension between restraint and the uncontrollable urge; family relationships; and Jimbo's endearing, comical self-doubt. Panter's black and white "ratty line" drawing style offers great economy while suggesting a broad range of graphic style from art brut to bathroom graffiti, and calls to mind the works of legendary cartoonists Jack Kirby and Osamu Tezuka. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/03/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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