Sunday, November 2, 2008
After a day of schlepping the graphic novel at the Boston Comic Con, I googled the title to see if there were any new references to Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy on the world wide internet and found a new, unsolicited review of the book on the comic book website, comicrelated.com:
BUSINESS CASUAL STAG DEVIL DEATH BOY (BCSDDB) creates a dark mood early on and doesn't brighten any too much by the end. With a small cast:Glenn Caperton, Paula the Pretend Punk, Ms.Sundrapery and Cubicle Croc (the wildcard), Mr. Dan Nolan visits many of the angst-filled situations that arise in our post 2001 World. Obviously "Office Space" and "The Office" are forerunners to this work. The office location and black, existential comedy is now a genre of Its own. Mr. Nolan takes this idea and runs it even further up the weirdness pole. The cast's blithe acceptance of the blood-epaulet wearing BCSDDB is a humorous conceit. His never changing expression (he's got a flaming skull for a face!) is read by his office mates as a validation for their own bizarre rants.
The panel layouts are quite varied, especially the dream sequences of which there are many. The art is cinematically influenced in the differing angles and numerous strange compositions. Each character is well developed given the length of the novel. Many of Mr. Nolan's panels are so expressive that he doesn't even need text to explain the action. The expressions and body positions speak for themselves. This is an area where choices between Art/Text must be made. It's not an easy issue to decide. Nr. Nolan takes pokes at Abstract Art, the Child/Adult relational paradigm, and other cultural topics, while still giving us a good read.
The story's ending is surprising and open-ended. Many interpretations are possible, the most likely being that BCSDDB assumes his rightful purpose at last. There's a lot to process in the novel's 189 pgs. but the time invested is worth it. Many of the images and quirks of the tale stayed with me for days after reading it. I look forward to future work by Mr. Nolan.
Not too shabby. In other BCSDDB news, you can now purchase your very own copy at the Cambridge, Brookline, and Allston locations of New England Comics.