When you like your action slow, thoughtful, and callous.
There’s an obvious swing in comics towards physical perfection in male characters, and impossible contortions of anatomy and sense in female ones. Mark Hobby’s book, Job Dun: Fat Assassin, eschews that standard in its main character, giving us an overlarge guy who bulls through a world that prides itself on looks and the application of social expectations that can boggle the mind. Taking the path of least resistance in all things, Job Dun is like a foul-mouthed Buddha chucking fools to the afterlife while keeping after what’s important.
There’s a good amount of social commentary happening throughout this book, which collects many stories of our hefty hero. My absolute favorite is how he handles getting a violation of dress standard, wearing shoes above his “worth.” The solution is genius and provides a wonderful sense of sticking it to the man. Every story has some way that shows how fragile certain social standards can be by cutting through the crap and focusing on real people, not the precious nonsense that they project as themselves. Hobby has also created a pigdin language much like A Clockwork Orange, and much like that excellent novel, I found myself drifting every now and again (which is more on me than anything – I have found that I’m sometimes a bit lazy as a reader), but there’s a great fun in the slang he creates.
Each tale has its own artist, and it’s fun to see the different interpretations of the character throughout. The similarities allow the truth of the character to be distilled in your mind’s eye, leading to a pure expression of who this guy is. The action sequences are handled well and show the commitment that Hobby has with each artist to storyboard very well. The “Where’s Dunny?” page by Khan Vokers is my favorite single panel in the whole book and made me laugh quite loudly, but it builds on the work that comes before it which is really stellar. The whole thing is a series is of silly send-ups that will tickle and delight.
This is a book that stands out from the crowd in a wonderful way, having good content without the prettiest of protagonists to hide behind. It’s a great commentary on the industry and fun to read to boot. Have fun with this one.
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