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‘Holly Roller #1:’ Comic Book Review

When we look to the past, it is almost always with rose-colored glasses. When we look at the present, our perspective tends to skew towards the negative. The issues of the day overshadow our outlook, but those same events drift into the background as time continues to unfold. How does the past shape the future in personal ways? How does bowling fit into all this? That is the concept of the new Image Comics series, Holy Roller.


Written by Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn 99 actor Andy Samberg with Rick Remender and Joe Trohman, Holy Roller follows Levi Cohen, from his bullied beginnings in the ’80s as the son of a bowling champ, to his days on a Greenpeace boat, to his return to his hometown which has become a dilapidated mess. Levi is forced to confront his relationship with his father, as well as the local bullies who have changed from being annoying kids to anti-Semitic goons.

Holy Roller is very interesting in the way it portrays the different environments that Levi finds himself in. The 1980s are filled with video games and embarrassment towards his parents, while the present confronts today’s issues of racism, anti-Semitism, and the declining American dream. It really shows how much life has changed in the past 35+ years.

The artwork by Roland Boschi is fantastic. It is a bit cartoony yet shows brutal, violent images. It also conveys the likenesses of the characters perfectly: Levi looks like Andy Samberg – both as a kid and an adult, while his father David is clearly based on actor Judd Hirsch (both younger and older).

Holy Roller is not afraid to tackle today’s issues while maintaining a comedic bend. It is great entertainment with a message. This series is definitely worth checking out.

Recommended – 4 out of 4 stars

Creative Team: Andy Samberg (writer), Rick Remender (writer), and Joe Trohman (writer), Roland Boschi (artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Scott Larson, Fanbase Press Contributor

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