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I grabbed a random book off of my “need to read” shelf for this one, and it turned out to be quite a fun read.
Title: Off Road
Author(s): Sean Murphy
Publisher: Oni Press (2005)
Age Rating: 13+
Off Road is a fairly immature tale about a group of three friends that take a new Jeep out on an off-roading adventure, only to get literally stuck in the middle of the woods and have to find a way to get out. The book reads like an early 2000s comedy, with the bro-tastic friends dropping words like “retard” and making a good number of mom jokes…but the script fits the characters, and while you may not like how these guys talk in the book, they are young men with flaws, and I bet we all know people like Greg, Trent, and Brad. Yes, one of them is named Trent.
Don’t let my discussion of the characters totally dissuade you from reading this book. It is fun. It reads like an I Love You Beth Cooper with the drama, violence, and unpredictability. Do not mistake, it is a dude book. Dudes will like this book, and if you wring it out, dude sweat might drip out.
The drawings are done in simple black and white. Murphy includes some of his comic strips that spawned this book in the back matter, and with that, the reader can see the inception of the black and white. You can also see the influence of Bill Watterson in the action sequences of the book; they look great. Elevated comic strip art for sure. And he does keep most of the backgrounds plain and simple as well…possibly another hand-me-down from the comic strip days, but I love that as well since it allows me to focus on the characters and the action surrounding them.
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