Sunday, March 23, 2014

31 Days of Short Reviews #23: Kevin Scalzo

There's something fundamentally wrong about Kevin Scalzo's comics. I mean that in the sense that simply looking at his drawings is disturbing for reasons that aren't immediately clear. Take the recent Sugar Booger #1 from the reborn Alternative Comics, for example. It follows the adventures of the Tele-Tubby shaped titular creature, which consist of eating a lot of candy and then pulling out long, sugar-rich boogers for all to enjoy. The concept of that is gross enough, but what truly makes the comic creepy is the way Scalzo draws the characters. They are covered in sweat, and once they consume candy, their eyes bulge out manically. Scalzo plays off the inherent weirdness of so much of children's television and uses that to fuel the humor of his comic but is careful to keep Sugar Booger's activities entirely within the limits of the character's conceptual state. That is, he's not a monster or a pedophile; he simply wants to give children the treat of his delicious nose candy. Just as every weird cartoon's concept is similarly sealed-off, so does Sugar Booger never question his actions relative to the reality in which he lives. Of course, Scalzo gets to point out this insanity in the form of the sweatiness that resembles nothing less than a coke binge, as well as the ways in which the alarmed parents of the children eventually find them and pull away their children in apoplectic horror.It's a strange little comic that's one-note in its sense of humor, but Scalzo doesn't linger on it for very long, keeping the comic short and punchy.

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