By Dustin Cabeal
The premise to Apocalypse… Meh is simple and brilliant. Hell, has come to earth, but life goes on. It’s like the book of Revelations, but Monday still sucks and Friday you get to go home from work. The volume is cut up in shorter stories, but there is an overall narrative that continues throughout the short stories.
What makes the story work is the characters, there’s Jim, a pushover that sucks at everything but has found himself the boss of his two friends. Lillian, the woman he sees on the bus every day but is too afraid to talk to that is also unfortunately boiled down to “the love interest.” Then there’s Brad a human that is very, and I find it ridiculous to write this, racist towards demons and Randy, who wants to bang demons. Rounding out the cast is Esteban, a demon that resembles the guy with a ponytail that works in every office ever created. It’s like a fucking rule, did you hire a guy with a ponytail yet? We’re not an office until a dude with a ponytail shows up, and we all talk about French braids or some shit.
The characters are all tropes, but it’s a situational comedy, so they need to be. Especially in the early part of the story, we’re not going to spend enough time with them to have character growth, so they need to be Pushover, racist, sex hound and ponytail guy. It works, though; the different personalities push the story along. Jim eventually talks to Lillian and thrusts her into his life which is crazy because of his friends. He’s the one that gets them out of the craziness despite being a pushover.
As the creators say in the back the story was created and produced over several years, the art, in the beginning, is a little rough around the edges, but eventually, it becomes very consistent. The linework is clean, the inking is thick, and it’s mostly in black and white. There is a sequence in which Esteban goes back to hell for a visit, and the book is colored. The coloring was very flat didn’t make the story pop as much as I’m sure the creators would have liked. The black and white segments end up looking more three-dimensional which was strange. I liked the idea of it, but the execution could have been better.
Overall, I was impressed with this story. The idea of Hell coming to Earth and everyone just continuing their jobs and adapting to life was great. It also allowed for a lot of perfectly timed social commentary about the landscape of America and using Hell on Earth as the backdrop is just very fitting. The only part that ruins the book is the Cubs joke, but I bet the creators didn’t see that coming.
Writer/Letterer: Jon Westhoff
Artist: Bobgar Ornelas
Publisher: King Bone Press