cover image Bob the Angry Flower: Dog Killer

Bob the Angry Flower: Dog Killer

Stephen Notley, . . Tachyon, $12.95 (152pp) ISBN 978-1-892391-34-6

Bob is a flower, an angry flower. Joined by Stumpy the branch, the forlorn Love-Bot and a host of targets strip-mined from politics and popular culture, he's out to let everyone know that angry can be zany, if not exactly funny. The setup is surreal comedy gold, promising just enough Bloom County and Zippy the Pinhead to make for a great underground comic. Unfortunately, Bob (who stars in a weekly print and Web comic) has already sold out, and much of the book seems to have been hastily assembled. Occasional strips, such as Bob asking God for a sign of His existence or Bob's near-death experience, show the character's potential, but overall Notley may be more concerned with achieving wackiness than tightly constructed jokes or trenchant observations. A 28-page Pure Action insert feels like little more than filler to round out the book's page count. Notley's art is inconsistent, ranging from clean and tight to rushed and sloppy. Not polished enough for prime time, but not angry enough for the underground, Bob sort of languishes in the middle. This collection will likely appeal to existing fans, without drawing in many new ones. (June)