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Apocalypse Nerd #1

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2005
By: Michael Deeley




Writer/Artist: Peter Bagge

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


Perry and Gordon are coming home from a camping trip in Washington State. Perry is grousing about his crappy white collar job and the woman who dumped him. He admits he’s jealous of Gordon’s macho attitude and independent lifestyle. Suddenly, they learn Seattle was nuked by North Korea! With their home destroyed, and no way of learning more, Perry and Gordon return to their friend’s cabin in the mountains. That’s where Perry discovers Gordon’s better suited to survive than he. Also included are “Founding Fathers Funnies”: a three-page story of Ben Franklin and John Adams in Paris, and a back-page strip of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

The traditional post-apocalyptic story has everyone with some ability to survive without technology. The characters know how to find food, repair machines, or just shoot guns. But not everyone can do that. I can’t. I’d be like Perry, near panic and helpless. It’s Gordon who knows how to hunt and prepare deer, who remains focused, and even enjoys the new situation. Ironically, Perry would be considered more successful in society, but Gordon is the better survivor. I expect much humor to come for the contrast between these two.

The strips about the founding fathers are a surprise. I never thought Peter Bagge was interested in those men. His portrayals of Franklin, Hamilton, et al. are exaggerations, but has basis in fact. History buffs might better understand the references. To the rest of us, these are clever strips about an uptight conservative in a permissive society, and two men with different politics forced to work together.

Bagge’s art style hasn’t changed much since his days on Hate. It remains as loopy, expressive, subtle, and charged as ever. I highly recommend this book. And if you want more Bagge, check out his “Batboy” strip in the Weekly World News.



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