cover image Panorama


Michel Fiffe. Dark Horse, $19.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-5067-1682-4

This first trade collection by Fiffe (the Copra series) brings together his weirdo early-aughts webcomic, a combo body horror/romance caper. Young Augustus runs away to the city of Copra to escape his family’s plans to ship him off to an institute because of his bizarre “skin condition.” He can’t control his body, which warps, droops, and oozes like he’s made of putty. He’s confronted by a street gang, unintentionally beats them senseless, and nearly winds up being sold as a sex slave to a pedophile. After dealing harshly with these lowlifes, his girlfriend from back home, Kim, arrives to help. In a truly demented scene, after his body goes haywire during sex, he literally disappears inside of her. They share her body, but both are dissatisfied with the situation. His apparent death while enveloped in Kim also heralds the fact that she’s pregnant. The ending features an unexpected birth. Fiffe’s explosive, unpredictable linework and gross-out panels can be amusing, if thoroughly unsettling; which is of course the appeal. The romance, meanwhile, turns surprisingly affecting. This is a deep cut into Fiffe’s weird comics vault, for his dedicated fans and Copra completists, and anyone looking to delve into a David Cronenberg–type alt-comics experience. (June)