cover image Mr. Boop

Mr. Boop

Alec Robbins. Silver Sprocket, $39.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-945509-80-3

A comic artist insists he is actually married to Betty Boop and gets sucked into a fantastical hall of cartoon mirrors in this riotous graphic novel, an anarchic blend of literary pranksterdom and full-bore assault on copyright law. The mock diary comics open with bespectacled normie Alec informing readers “my wife Betty Boop is really hot.” Fortunately for his ego, Betty is in lust with him, too. This collection of the cult webcomic contains mostly Robbins riffing on a classic underground comix premise: recast a family-friendly cartoon character in adult situations. These involve the likes of Bugs Bunny, Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, and Sonic the Hedgehog in a tangle of orgies and vengeful violence that culminates in a legal battle with Betty’s evil father, Mr. Boop, “president of cartoons.” Robbins layers the narrative (such as it is) with fake ads, direct-to-reader pronouncements, an imagined suicide note from Garfield creator Jim Davis, Bugs taking on Jeff Bezos, and a visit to the actual Public Domain, envisioned as a prison camp where out-of-copyright characters like Felix the Cat are forced into slave labor. A pointedly indifferent artist, Robbins also dashes through guest strips from fellow internet jokesters, such as Ryan North. It’s a Rube Goldbergian maze of multilevel, tongue-in-cheek internet ironizing, catnip for those who love such stuff. (May)