Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'The Bus' by Paul Kirchner

Before there was 'The Far Side', before there was 'The Perry Bible Fellowship', there was...

...The Bus.

‘The Bus’ was a black and white strip by Paul Kirchner that regularly appeared in Heavy Metal magazine in the late 70s and early 80s. Usually within the space of a third of a printed page, with 6 to 8 panels per strip, and featuring Kirchner’s careful draftsmanship and meticulous cross-hatching, ‘The Bus’ was often one of the better entries in a given issue of the magazine.
‘The Bus’ featured a sly, but not altogether benevolent, sense of humor. The hapless protagonist, a balding, middle-aged man in a raincoat, usually encountered all manner of surreal (and often menacing) goings-on. All this was cleverly communicated without employing any speech balloons, and the judicious use of sound effects and overlaid text boxes.
All of the strips that Kirchner produced are compiled in the small trade paperback version of ‘The Bus’ published by Ballantine Books in 1987. At amazon.com a new copy of the book is selling for a price of $ 195.24 (?!) and used copies at a (bargain-priced) $2.99 and up. If you are a fan of The Far Side, The Perry Bible Fellowship, and other comics - based humor of the quirky, more cerebral variety, then you may want to purchase a copy of 'The Bus'.
For those reluctant to spend money for a new or used copy in these Times of Recession, I will be posting excerpts from ‘The Bus’ here at the PorPor Books blog.

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