Sports is Hell

Ben Passmore. Koyama, $15 trade paper (60p) ISBN 978-1-927668-75-7
Passmore (BTTM FDRS) delivers a sardonically funny, fearlessly over-the-top satire on racism and sports fanaticism, centered on the evening when pro-football team the Birds wins the Superbowl over the Big Whites, sparking racially-charged riots in the streets. Mixed up in the melee are Birds star-player Marshall Collins (clearly based on Colin Kaepernick), who has jeopardized his career by protesting police brutality; a pair of African-American anarchists eager to help white sports fans damage their own community; and a Black Lives Matter activist who espouses nonviolence. Passmore also mercilessly skewers a pair of well-meaning but clueless white liberal allies; when danger threatens, one of them declares, “What my partner is saying is that we can help minorities by listening and understanding their pain, and not thru risking our bodies.” Passmore similarly projects a withering view of mass media, which reports on the warring gangs in the streets as if they were sports teams. Though Passmore packs his panels with abundant visual detail, employing two colors—black and tan—with a cartoony, grotesque style, he keeps the action clear and the narrative humming, imbuing what might have been a grim, too-close-to-home tale with a keen sense of the ridiculous. Even at novella length, this mordantly funny send-up packs a wallop before the buzzer. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/04/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Comics
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